Episode LXIX – Sensory deprivation is a road trip away.

The roaring torrent of water shocked my senses back into life. Since I had been trapped in limbo for the last eleven hours, I had regarded their abandonment as a slight blessing. I was grateful that my eyes had stopped processing the meaningless unchanging blur of landscape. I was relieved that my nose had stopped absorbing the fetid odors of my teammates and a pre-broken bathroom. I was uncaring that I could not hear the constant babble of listless voices and groaning of an inherently overworked transmission.

All I had felt for that period of time was blank uncaring nothingness, as my nerve endings decayed in my under-stimulated body. As the hard individual over-sized drops pelted my body and cratered the oversaturated ground, I was finally able to recall how sweet life actually was, despite not sleeping for the last day. The team and I had been on the bus for all of that time, because after the van incident, the administration had decreed that all sports teams travel as a whole, not in component parts. It was my opinion that such a decision only ensured that the team would either survive or perish as a whole.

My first impression of the bus that would transport us had been decidedly negative. It was a decrepit overused charter with bulging tires and squealing brakes. I immediately left the parking lot, went back to my room, and quickly checked to make sure my affairs were in order, because it appeared that we were in greater danger of dying on the bus prematurely rather making a safe and secure round trip to our destination. On my way back to the bus, I again questioned the reaches of my consciousness about why I had not quit the crew team. I realized that the answer was obvious: despite my ineffectual stream of constant whining and complaining, I had been too busy with my inept dating life to actually devote the brain and will-power to leave. However, to look good, I had told everyone else that I had stayed on the team out of loyalty to my friend, Party.

Stupidly, I had kept going to practice out of some misguided routine, and had thus found myself on a no doubt rat-infested hearse of a charter bus on a worse than hellish journey. Since I was now completely drenched, despite having stood outside for a mere thirty seconds, I decided that I would head over to a convenient structure to at least retain some of my core heat and hopefully avoid hypothermia. As I squelched one step toward the building, the firm hand of the Assistant Coach corralled my shoulder, and in bellicose tones, yelled at me that I needed to help unload my boat from its traveling container.