Prompt: “Write about feeling Itchy.”
The summer before tenth grade, I decided to make a few extra bucks by weeding my parents’ yard and flower beds. I did the whole chore in my bathing suit, intent on getting myh summer tan in the process. Turns out, I spent three days weeding poison ivy. Oh, how I itched. For weeks and weeks.
I remember learning when I was a little girl about that magical, mystical trick of poking my fingernail into a mosquito bite, first this way and then that, to make a cross over the bug bite. It was to make it itch less, they said. I don’t know if it really worked. But my kids still ask me to do it for them, with my luxurious fingernails. It seems to work better than that one night in a beach house when they couldn’t sleep for itching, so I sprayed them with a layer of hair spray.
My grandma told me a story about her sister eating poison ivy when they were small children in the hills of West Virginia. She told me how her mouth ahd broken out, how she had the poison ivy itch, even in her rectum. Yikes. Even then, I remember thinking that was a little too much information.
I still think that.
When I was emerging from the anesthesia of my epidural after Tucker was born, I itched. I could tell where the epidural was wearing off because the itch worked its way down my body in a very consuming way. Oddly, it was all neurological. So if they gave me anything to stop the itch, then the antihistamine would just put me to sleep. And I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to stay awake to breathe in everything about my new baby. So I let myself itch.
Today, I itch to be held.