Touching comets

As I lay, face down, breathing, with heat dancing on my back, breathing, I imagined flying. I imagined floating, motionless in the universe while comets whizzed by, close enough to kiss, their tails leaving swirling lines on my body, legs, back, arms, front, toes. The sounds around me, the passing trucks, and the soothing music disappeared, and, for the first time in quite a while, I just was. I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t doing. I wasn’t planning. I wasn’t applying. I just was. I was.

I have been analyzing recently why I think of massages as an overseas thing. I never really had one in the states outside of those that come with physical therapy, hair cuts, or Girl Scout camp. In Moldova, a friend of another volunteer was a masseuse. She came to the office sometimes. Her massages were nice. They were relaxing. They were like a grown up Girl Scout camp where the girl massaging you had some actual strength in her hands.

In Cambodia, however, I came to fully understand why people pay so much money for massages. Sokpeap at Aziadee Tea taught me what it was to have a back without knots. I am not saying I am someone who walks around in pain all the time; but I simply didn’t know what it felt like to not have knots and stress in my back. She suggested a massage before boarding a plane (yes, the logical thing for me was after). She was right. It was among the best 27 hour plane trips I have ever taken.

Perhaps it was the price (I have admitted that I am cheap). Perhaps it was not wanting to find someone new (I can be strangely shy about things). Perhaps it was because I never intended to be here so long and thought more about the future than my back. However, I broke down and got a massage this week. And. It. Was. Amazing.

I think I am have been more stressed lately then I let on. I certainly have been more alone. I sit all day, most days, in front of a computer. I go home and S isn’t there to massage my neck. (Have I mentioned how amazing he is in that he always massages my neck?). I worry about jobs, how long it will be until I am with S., saving money, not having health care— and, apparently, it is all a bit stressful.

I had my very first Hot Stone Massage on Thursday. It was heaven. The rocks were heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 Celsius). They flew over my body, both warming and relaxing me. While the heat was surprising to me, it apparently was to the knots as well. Unlike a regular massage, which can spend quite a bit of time working the knots out of my back, skilled pressure and gentle massage seemed to make the knots melt away. Heaven.

Anyways, although I realize that I perhaps only have one Milwaukee based reader (since my parents don’t read when I live at home), this useful tidbit may not be useful to most: I highly recommend Body Studio for massages in Milwaukee. I found Michelle to be incredibly skillful and professional. While her studio is possibly smaller than my storage locker, I can’t really imagine having much more (shy of returning to Sokpeap in Phnom Penh).


  1. I was just talking with friends last night about massages. I got a deep tissue massage right before I got on the plane to come down here and I agree, it helped make the ride so much better. Ahh, just thinking about that massage makes me want to get one. They are soooooo relaxing. The hot stones sound amazing…I’ve never gotten one of those before.

  2. Okay you totally sold me. I want a massage now. They are pretty cheap here too so I guess I will get one before I travel at the end of the month. I certainly need it. Hot stones sound awesome. I had a friend in the US who was a massage therapist and she gave me freebies or we’d barter. I’d cook her dinner for a massage! It was sweet.

  3. I’ve never had such a yearning for a massage until I read this blog. I love the way you describe the sensations in the first paragraph! And now not only do I want a massage, I want one of those hot stone things.

  4. Freelancer– where are you? Hope you find a good cheap massage. When I move some place and can aford them more, I certainly will be going back.

    Renee & Kyle– sorry, but it was sooooooooooooooooo fab!

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