A Prickling of the Skin

From the moment I woke up, I knew that something was wrong.

Ever feel that prickling at the back of your shoulder blades, that phantom sensation that just won’t go away?  It happens when you’ve missed something, something important.  One time, I totally forgot about the fact that I had jury duty, and I walked around all day with this prickling in between my shoulder blades, sure that the Sword of Damocles was waiting just above my head, about to drop.

That was how I felt today, ever since I woke up.

Try as I might, however, I can’t remember what could be wrong, what I could have forgotten.  I caught my bus as I hid from the rain in the shelter of the stop, went to work, put in my mindless eight hours of sitting at my desk and transferring files between spreadsheets, got on the bus again, came home, cooked the last pizza in my freezer (I need to get more food), and went to bed.

The next day, the prickling was still there.

Now, I knew that something was wrong.  That sense of unease was stronger, as if there was something right in front of me that I should be seeing, that my eyes were just skipping past.

I knew that something was wrong.

I just didn’t know what it was.

I went to work again, putting up my coat to cover my hair against the rain.  I did my work, toiling away at those endless spreadsheets.  At home, I popped open my fridge, pulled out the frozen pizza (last one, I needed to go shopping), and tried to think as I ate.

What could be wrong?  I felt my skin was a size too small, like I itched inside of it.

It took a long time for me to fall asleep.

The next morning, the feeling was even worse.  Prickling all over, pins and needles coursing through my entire body.  I could barely think as I stared out the window at the pouring rain.  I knew that I had to go to work, but I felt as though my thoughts were moving through molasses.

Dash through the rain to the bus.  Open up my spreadsheets – sometimes, it seemed like I wasn’t even making any progress on them.  Eight hours and change later, I stumbled back into my apartment, going for the frozen pizza (last one) in the fridge.

I needed to go shopping for food, I thought blearily to myself.  I had a small pad of paper sitting on the counter, and I picked up a pen.  I noticed with annoyance that I was down to the last sheet of paper.  There was something written on it already, but I crossed that out and wrote “buy pizza” underneath.

I was already getting tired.  I collapsed into bed, but I knew that I was missing something.

I almost slept through my alarm the next morning.  Clamber up, pull on my coat against the pouring rain outside, and run for the bus.  Data entry.  Frozen pizza.  The prickling was still there.

I know something’s wrong.

Maybe I’ll figure it out tomorrow.

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