The girl with the infallible itch

There once was a girl with an itchy chest. It wasn’t the kind of go-away-in –five-minutes kind of itch. No, her itch was a constant. And try as she might, no matter how hard she scratched, she just couldn’t relieve it. Some people thought she had fleas. Others thought she had a nervous habit. But everyone knew her as the girl with the itch.

What they didn’t know was how much it affected her life. Chlorine pools aggravated it. Soap exacerbated it. She had to wear natural fibres to avoid irritating it. And she couldn’t wear low cut tops as they would reveal the angry red scratch marks on her chest.

On the plus side, the constant scratching meant she didn’t have to trim her fingernails. They were already worn down from constant buffing. And the girl discovered her calling as a turntablist. In fact her speciality was scratching.

One day, during a deejaying gig, she met a boy. He seemed nice save for his extremely hairy chest. The kind of coarse hair that’s not too dissimilar to steel wool. The boy was pilling, like everyone else in the club, so she thought nothing of the fact he kept hugging her all night. She couldn’t figure out why she so enjoyed letting this sweaty boy hug her. But then she realised what it was. When he hugged her, his chest hair scratched her itch, most deliciously.

From then on they were inseparable. Onlookers would always comment on how in love they seemed, always hugging. Little did they know the boy was merely relieving his girlfriend’s itch.

Five months later, the girl’s itch suddenly disappeared. For years she had put up with it, had it affect her wardrobe, had things whispered about her behind her back, and now it was gone. These days when the boy hugged her, his bristly chest hair scratched her painfully. It seemed their beautiful bond had been broken.

But the boy was brighter than he looked. He simply booked himself and his girlfriend into the local beauty salon. While she had her nails done (they were growing back faster now that she wasn’t scratching all the time), he got his chest hair waxed off. He was going to shave it but then realised he’d end up where his girlfriend had just been – with a constantly itchy chest.

The girl was ecstatic. Both with her boy’s now smooth chest and the fact that their relationship had been saved. From then on, the happy couple dedicated their lives to doing all things scratch-free. The girl gave up deejaying and he threw away his back-scratcher and mohair rug. And in the middle of the night, they’d often go on guerrilla missions to de-thorn neighbour’s rosebushes and cactus gardens.

Aislinn
2005

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