Itch-induced insomnia has been a big irritant in my life lately. Once awake, the sweet whispers of my deeply creative but poorly timed imagination spring into gear and I’m left day-dreaming and pondering through all the remaining hours of the night.
Tonight, a mini torrential downpour has started after 4am, and I am intrigued by how amiable my feelings are towards the storm this day. Normally a grey, cold (for summer), rainy day is grounds for temporary depression as I pine all day longing for the sweet golden rays of the sun, and its many bright possibilities.
But today, I welcome the rain. It comes on a day when I already plan to stay in, with warm (virgin) hot toddies, familiar movies, nourishing home food, and the best cuddlemates I could ask for beside me.
Today, the sounds of the rain drumming on the roof by my window are a delighting orchestral ensemble performing a liquidity symphony to my receptively excited ears.
Today, the inconsistent downpour reminds me of the magic of rain, the primal feeling of newness and cleanness, the rain washing away all the dirt and build-up of previous time to which I mirror by washing away all excessive build-up of thoughts and itchy urges.
Today, I embrace the celestial water overflow as the omnipresent benefactrice to my althaea offinialis, and let the staccato melody lure me back to sleep and into healing.
Here’s little bit of writing for fun that I came up with during a bout of insomnia this week.
My mama always said you need to dig deep to really find yourself. What I didn’t realize was that she meant it literally.
The first warm weekend in New England, I found myself at Home Depot, my eyes scanning along the garden shelves looking for that perfect plant to take home with me. I had finally coaxed myself out into the sunlight and had witnessed what the winter had done to my yard, and knew it was time to help it heal. It didn’t take long for some hardy flower types to catch my eye and I quickly placed a bunch in my cart and wheeled them to the register. On the way I paused to think if I should buy gardening gloves, but then decided again it.
Soon I was at home, kneeling on the lawn scraping away layers of rock and gravel and old stiff mulch from my beds. As I gardened bare-handed I realized the dirt was getting everywhere, in my tiny cuts, stuck along the dry skin flakes, immersing my hands in their loamy fertileness. Though it was nothing like soaking in a warm bath, I felt comforted by the sun beaming down and the dirt encasing my hands. It felt natural and right, even though my hands were no less dry than any other day.
Later that afternoon as I washed the dirt off with soap, I realized my hands were cracking less and less itchy post-wash, unlike my usual discomfort from water and soap encounters. Though I still applied moisturizer, the effects of my gardening had already reduced some of the more persistent symptoms of my stagnant eczema, and I felt good. Obviously it was no cure, but the benefits of getting down and dirty with the dirt seemed to be somewhat relieving from the usual eczema grind.
It was nice to know that my non-flares hands were still down in their under the scrapes and wrinkles and redness and flakes, even if I had to dig down in the dirt to get to re-meet them.
As I child I always loved reading and subsequently writing as I developed my own worlds in my mind. I have a story I started when I was about 12 years old that I have since molded to reflect various stages in my life over the last 14 years or so. Recently, inspired by my current eczema flare, I decided to personify the flare as a new section of that story. Below is an excerpt. At some point perhaps I’ll continue it.
“Another goddamn visit from a Flare. This time it’s the more benign cousin of the usual suspects. She comes only with her mild temper, and only the occasional and light irritation under my skin. Though she does confuse me as to how to get rid of her- and she is particularly chiding to my cheeks and around my neck like an ever present wind that buries under my scarves.
Still, she, who I’ll call M as she is far down the crisis scale, is a mystery. She is particularly nary after I shower and irritates the fuck out of me, but then within 10 minutes or so she leaves me be more or less, minus the occasional heated moment. She tends to be a bit of a blowhard at night, especially when I am trying to get comfortable and sleep, but minus waking me up intermittently until I toss onto my other side, she mostly lets me get my rest. I much prefer her to some of her relatives, though I do wonder how I can slow some of her persistence. Perhaps she’ll leave me alone if I go and soak in the bath for a while. Though I don’t think she comes in barring infections, you never know with these unwanted guests.”
“Well boys. It looks as though we’ve got another one,” the detective mused, adjusting his increasingly baggy pants waistline with one hand while he scanned the note held by tweezers in his other. His men picked themselves up from various places in the crime scene and ambled over towards him, hankering to see over his shoulder at the note’s contents.
“Another Flare has been through town. What is the point of the mayor’s extensively expensive Flare-reduction policies, if he can’t keep a- a ‘benign cousin’ from rolling through and wreaking havoc!”
His men grumbled ascension sounds in response. One officer, looking back over the crime scene absent-mindedly, almost unconsciously piqued “But sir, what if this is a worser Flare than we think? It’s possible the hostage was under duress and just using some of those techniques the good head doc has been lecturing. You know ‘mindfulness practices’ and whatnot. Or maybe the hostage has been tormented by so many Flares already, she barely knows when she’s in a bad situation anymore. Couldn’t we have a situation like that at hand here? Until we have the biopsies, we won’t know which Flare we were actually dealing with.”
The detective swiveled around to turn to look at the officer. Swiveling was getting easier now that he’d finally taken up his wife’s request and stopped indulging Sweets.
Officer McCormick. He was a newer recruit, coming from a larger town. Before working in the Eczema Dept he had worked in Staph A. and it was rumored though he was good, the stress got to him so management reassigned him to Eczema to give him some time to find his bearings. He still seemed a bit strung out though.
“Now son,” the detective started gently. “We’ve been dealing with Flares in this town since the town was first declared, and none of them has been higher than a crisis scale of H. And even then it was the result of a consumables gang-mix up triggering some interest on the low grade Flares radars. I know you must have seen a lot coming from where you did, but here in ChroniCity we don’t jump to conclusions until the evidence points us that way. Red will collect the samples for the biopsy and we’ll know who we are dealing with soon.”
“But what if it is more serious! Shouldn’t we alert Anti-Bac and Court’roids just in case we’ll need them here quickly-”
“McCormick! This small town doesn’t have the budget to be dragging out higher-ups on every whim. Like I said before, our ChroniCity is usually pretty peaceful so we will proceed as usual unless we find evidence to the contrary. Got it?”
“Understood, sir.” McCormick responded, feeling unjustly chastised. The other men shuffled about uncomfortably, all unused to hearing the detective bark out.