or rubbing is a reflex response that is thought to relieve
the itch by simultaneously stimulating pain nerves and interfering
with the transmission of the 'itch' signal to the brain."
are people so willingly blind to their own misguided behaviour?
you can force them to sit down and consider the possible outcomes,
they will see few, if any, positive ones. But they can't resist.
scratch insect bites until they bleed. They test 9-volt batteries
with their tongues. They drink until they vomit. They pick
and gnaw and peel at their cuticles until they become infected.
They watch just one more show on TV.
can’t resist testing their own limits. They know it’s
bad, but it feels so good.
they don’t even want to admit that it feels good.
the mosquito bite. An open-faced palm sliding up a chilled
arm or just a couple of absent-minded drags of the fingernail
across a slowly rising welt. The tickle may feel like it comes
from without but its source is within.
find yourself at the first level: acknowledgement that something
Something must have bit me. Damn mosquitoes.
resolve to ignore it. You put it aside, and focus on the task
at hand. moments pass. Then again you realize it’s bothering
you. You don’t even realize you’ve returned to
scratching it, but there it is.
Fucking mosquito bite.
find yourself accidentally stimulating the area a few more
times. The more times you return to the same spot, the worse
it gets. So you try strategies. Tactics. Approaches.
your beer on it. Press the palm of your hand over it and try
to remain very still.
anyone have any AfterBite?
it grows. And it's too late for that now anyway.
an X with your fingernail on the welt. Childhood magic that
is more trained at distracting the mind from the case at hand.
If you can just resist the urge to scratch, you’ll be
you're pitting childhood magic against childish desires. You
know precisely what you should do.
no one likes being told what to do.
something inside you cracks.
forget about what you know might happen because this is the
moment in which you are living. Not the yesterday before you
were bitten. Not the tomorrow of consequences. You ignored
all of these things a long time ago, subconsciously, when
you first brushed up against the idea that was a mosquito
scratch. Scratching with a vengeance. You can feel the fingernail
break the skin’s surface until a new layer of skin appears,
and a raw pinkness is exposed, with the filmy clear liquid
of a surface wound.
within you is relieved. The itch has turned into a pain. And
pain, unlike an itch, causes us to avoid touching the area.
may dab the sticky surface a few times, to see the impact
of your handiwork. You may go to find a bandage to cover up
what you have done. Or now that the itch has gone, you may
just forget about it and go back to what you were doing before
you finally gave in to the itch.
the mosquito bite has not gone away. It's slowly transforming
into a scab. Its next question may come a few days later,
as the skin heals and the scab starts to lift slightly at
you pick at it?