You scratch because it itches. You’re over the moon with excitement. Good news always drives your histamine reaction and now you’re breaking out in hives. You drink a glass of water. You breathe, slow breaths, in, out, the way the yoga teacher and the meditation guru and the homeopathist and the ENT guy instruct. The itch gets funky, like a dance, up and down your arms, the backs of your thighs, a place between your shoulder blades you can’t reach. You ask Ben to reach for you and he says he won’t because scratching only makes it worse. If you’re going to marry this guy, you want to know. You tell him he has to and when he does, you know you made the right choice.
Susan Tacent’s work has been published in a variety of literary journals including Tin House Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, decomP, Blackbird, Ontario Review, and DIAGRAM. In addition to teaching writing workshops, she facilitates an assisted living book club where the participants’ collective age exceeds 900 years. You can find her online at susantacent.weebly.com.
Read more from Cleaver Magazine’s Issue #30.