Note: Wrinkled Brows is an occasional Monday series on a word or a quote of interest (perhaps only to me).
Itch: an uneasy irritating sensation in the upper surface of the skin usually held to result from mild stimulation of the pain receptors.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to satisfactorily scratch one of your knuckles when it itches? It is an odd thing, isn't it?
As I was trying to drift off into slumber land the other evening, I noticed my ring-finger knuckle was itching like crazy. I turned on the light and checked out my annoying digit. No welt - so not a mosquito bite - no rash, no nothing. Just itching.
I tried scratching it, but that just didn't seem to do it. I tried rubbing it, too. No joy in that either.
I gave some thought to why it is so hard to scratch a knuckle in such a way that it will actually stop itching, and I decided it is the wrinkles. They prevent getting to the "root of the itch" if you will.
This is not like the spot between your shoulder blades, which can be scratched effectively, provided your arms are long enough. Mine are not, so I usually have to enlist the aid of a back-scratcher.
But if you can reach that trouble spot, you can usually alleviate the problem. Not so with itchy knuckles. This also holds true for itchy heels, elbows and knees. None of these areas can be effectively scratched in such a way as to stopping the itching. It is a nuisance. Fortunately, for me at least, it is a rarely occurring nuisance, but still.
Finally, it dawned on me what all of these spots have in common. They all have naturally occurring wrinkles, or little folds in the skin. (Of course, that could just be me.) Ah ha, that is the answer.
While I lay and pondered the significance of this discovery, I suddenly thought, "Oh my goodness. Those poor Shar Peis, how do they ever scratch an itch?" You know, that odd breed of dog which have so many wrinkles everywhere that they are "so ugly they are cute."
And as for me, my knuckle finally stopped itching, and I drifted off to sleep still empathizing greatly with those poor wrinkled pooches famous for their folds.
* * * * *
Life can be like an itchy knuckle. An ill-defined uneasiness, not quite pain, but not something that can be ignored. Inchoate hopes and dreams. Unspoken promises we wish we had kept anyway. Life is a Shar Pei, with lots of wrinkles built right in.
Hope you are in a good spot this evening, with nary an itchy wrinkle anywhere. Until next time ... Marsha