CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO
Our remaining 18 days are meticulously mapped out because I would much rather doodle important events onto a calendar than make decisions about what to do with this and that and this other pile of nonsense that cannot POSSIBLY be mine. I am dangerous around a garbage can in this frame of mind. Nothing at all is safe. I may also leave treats in your purse or bathroom or refrigerator without asking. As Nae-san, our cleaning lady, left today I forced a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream in her hand. An already opened bottle crunched and flaked when I opened it to give her a sniff. I mimed something about putting it in her coffee and passing out on the couch. It was an awkward moment but that is one less piece of junk I have to reckon with.
Look how busy I am. I have no time to pack with all these happenings.
6/11: Joe flies home in his red cape and saves us from otherwise certain demise. And I in my hat will do my best to feel sexy after six very un-sexy weeks. Maybe I shouldn’t have given the Bailey’s away.
6/15: Father’s day. More like Mother’s day because I’m thinking Joe can take the boys for each of those 24 hours. This is my calendar, I plan it like I want it.
6/16: Our electricity, internet and phone are getting cut off. That is thanks to a lovely Japanese woman who continued to reassure me that “things are going REALLY well” throughout our 30 minute conversation. I would like to hire her to sit on my shoulder for the rest of my life and whisper sweet nothings like that all the live long day.
No electricity means no AC therefore we will move into the top floor of our friend’s house. She will regret saying yes to this. Although I’m not sure I ever asked so much as told her that it was happening. My manners are gone. I’ll be lucky to have any friends left when I leave this island.
6/17: Our government furniture will picked up sometime between 7:30 and 18:30. I need to be here for the duration. WITHOUT ELECTRICITY OR PHONE OR INTERNET. Stop by with cold drinks, please. I’ll be busy removing Dora stickers from the kitchen table.
6/18: Henry’s school is throwing him a birthday party. Something that I, his mother, am not even doing. It promises to be better than anything I could muster up anyway. Especially when you consider that on an average day these people paint eyebrows on their dog, Happy, with hair dye. These are the very people you want planning a birthday party.
6/20 Our Household Goods set sail. Also our house will get inspected. Say a little prayer that the damage done is less than or even to the security deposit. This will be our first of seven nights at West Pac. Last time we were there, we made Henry. Maybe we’ll be lucky again.
6/22 A big-bang good-bye party in the sun. I’ll be drinking fruity cocktails through straws. Don’t leave your drink unattended. I steal things.
6/23 Maltsby gets his last fecal test while also losing his last thread of dignity.
6/27 We leave Okinawa and arrive in DC. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.
You know that moment on a roller coaster when you’re inches from the top and you can’t jump off or change a single thing. You just have to be there and let it all happen. That’s where I am. I’m waving at you.
For posterity’s sake we have left this universally euphoric, terrified, confused, “what am I doing?!” series on Okinawa Hai. However, we have closed comments for future readers. If there is relevant information for all readers to benefit from, we have taken elements from this series and created new posts, which we’ve linked to from the original text. Thank you for joining us on this ride.