I feel it in my arm. My left forearm, underneath. It tickles, like an itch under the skin.
It started years ago. I would lie awake in bed, wishing for something that could never come to be. Not a mere improbability, but a guaranteed impossibility. My blood pressure would rise and each deep breath would wash over me. I hardly noticed it, at first. I would get that tickle in my arm, but I wouldn’t make the connection until much later.
Now when I feel it, I know. It isn’t there for the little things. It isn’t even necessarily there for the big things. But when it’s there, it snaps me to attention. It’s as though whatever it is I’m longing for has lassoed itself to the nerve-endings on that stretch of flesh. It pulls me, keeps me awake in the night. It makes me keep going when I’d rather call it quits.
I’ve Googled. I’ve asked people. No one, nothing, seems to know what I’m talking about. I assumed it was a blood pressure thing, but it doesn’t happen if I’m scared or nervous or hysterically crying. It only happens in the dark of the night when I’m lost in my head and there’s something far off in the distance calling out to me.
Sometimes? I don’t even know what the thing calling out to me is.
I use the word “longing” very pointedly. It’s not an urge or a desire or a want. It’s not a wish or a hope or a dream. It’s persistent and deep. It’s a wound yearning to be healed.
It’s the thing I want most, trapped right there beneath the surface of my skin, in a place I can’t ever reach.