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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

End Times

I'm resting. Finally.
Leaving Georgia was like trying to extricate myself and my boys from a jealous cephalopod—it just didn't seem to want us to go. I spent the last week packing up a 100-year-old antebellum house in the uber-heat of the South. I'd bring home 15-20 boxes, fill them and repeat. Over and over again. Each time I packed away another load more stuff would crawl out of the corners as if taunting me to dare to ever finish the task.

During the final count down, I began randomly stuffing things into boxes—1000 books, baby clothes, letters, memories, dishes, more memories. I worked through the night and right up until our renter moved in, leaving a massive pile of human debris by the roadside for a secondhand scout.

With the boys at my parents' house and a million things to wrap up before our departure, I made yet another midnight trip to the storage unit. As I struggled to haul one last box, I turned just in time to see my Honda Element rolling backward down a hill. Instinctively, I ran after it—flip-flops flying off my feet—and grabbed on to the drivers' side window. The damn car was locked.

I rode it all the way down the hill and into a security fence, knocking out the key-pad unit. Sore and bruised, I managed a cheerful waive at the security camera before calling it a day. I was too amped up to sleep, though, and knew I had a hellacious day of travel in store so I headed to the only late night massage place I know: Jeju Sauna. I was desperate and had heard rave reviews.

The place is an authentic Korean spa. Totally different from French spas that relax you with aroma therapy or American Spas that play soothing New Age music. This place is a holistic hospital for the sick. Perfect. I stretched out naked on a white vinyl table while a matronly Korean masseuse put on gloves and scrubbed me ferociously. After about 20 minutes, I thought there was no skin left on my body, so she downgraded to a milder lufa sponge and did it again. (Note to self: butt cheeks are sensitive. Go easy on the sandpaper.) When these women give you a massage, they literally stand on your back and dig into your muscles. Then they throw buckets of soapy hot water on you. You're basically a tuna on a sushi slab. I couldn't have cared less about frills and ambiance, though, all I wanted was to feel better and it worked.

Liberating ourselves from the massive rut that we had dug/fallen into was/is way harder than I imagined it would be. Life doesn't seem to want you to just pack up and change course. But I think the hardest part may be over. France was here waiting, cordial and lovely.

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