The Itch

She wasn’t sure exactly what the cause was. All she knew was that it was driving her crazy. This itchy skin for which she could find no relief. Was it her laundry detergent? The changing seasons? Maybe she was dehydrated? Or maybe she was just getting old and this was one more thing she was going to have to accept and deal with. She really did not want to go down that road of thought.

So instead she scratched until her skin was raw and burning. She slathered on the best organic lotions and serums she could find and afford. She guzzled water by the gallon, or at least that is what it seemed like to her and to her poor overworked bladder.

Yet nothing brought relief. She could still feel the skin drying out and what felt like thousands . . . no, millions of tiny bug feet marching across her skin causing her fingers to find their way back to her leg, her sides, her arms.

“Maybe…” she thought as she scratched, feeling the burn of her skin which also felt strangely good and satisfying, “maybe I’m becoming a zombie!”

Her life sure felt like that most times. Constantly moving from one issue to another at work. Stress upon stress with no end in sight. Leaving work each night to go home to the normal mundane (and never ending) tasks of cooking, cleaning and chauffeuring, while still having a part of her mind on work. Always work.

Her life had become a series of never ending events – a cycle she could not seem to get out of, even though it held no real meaning anymore. No purpose.

Her family held meaning and purpose, yet work had become so all consuming that she could no longer see to find her way out of the stress induced fog to find that meaning any longer. An ever demanding task master who could never be satisfied and overshadowed all else.

She just kept moving forward. Shuffling along mindlessly like the zombies she sometimes saw on the television show everyone loved so much. Not that she often had time to watch. Just glimpses when she had a moment to sit, usually while multi-tasking. Either a basket of laundry or a laptop balanced on her legs.

And now the transformation had taken the next step. The thought skipped through her mind briefly without fully taking root as she scratched the already raw spot on her calf. It skittered out of her mind as she sat at her desk to check her email. One last check before turning in for the night, she thought. As she typed in her password, her fingers strayed again to her side and started scratching again. She did not even notice as she read the first email.

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