The Itch, The Flutter

The Depths of the Human Psyche

The Itch - The Flutter - Spectre of the Brocken: #title

Deep within the tangled forest of our minds, we find ourselves lost at times. It’s a place where some return, while others acknowledge they may never come back. 

Like any young person’s search for meaning and their quest for a purpose in life—not their pursuit of a God or a passing craze, but an internal flame sparked by a flint, a speck of lint, and a smoldering ember; an itch, if you will.

This itch isn’t a mere desire—it’s a relentless drive to unearth meaning in every facet of existence, to redefine the very core of who we are. It’s a journey into the intricacies and vast crevices of life, an exploration that grows with time, impossible to conquer.

It may momentarily subside, but triggers persistently taunt your senses, reigniting a passion for the unknown, even if you can’t quite articulate what it is.

Imagine it as a subconscious state, similar to the aftermath of reading a captivating book or experiencing a profound life lesson. You find yourself entranced, staring into a zoned out void for what seems an eternity, unaware of how long your mind has wandered.

Yet, each person’s experience of this “itch” is unique. We might use similar descriptions to articulate this feeling, but our metaphors are vastly different. For instance, you might embark on the journey to understand the ways of a Yaqui Indian medicine man, unsure of what you seek but trusting your subconscious to guide you. It may sound like rambling nonsense, but let’s see if we can get through this. Yes?

Picture this: after 60 hours confined to an office cubicle, a need to explore and be lost slithers into you like a hotshot in the vein. So you do the right thing this time and call your family, forewarning them of your late return. The “itch” has taken hold, propelling you to dart down Route 101 on your motorcycle at 120 miles per hour, towards the shore. It beckons.

A law-abiding citizen momentarily sheds worries and consequences, hurtling toward the white caps of the beach, white knuckles, a rebellious act asserting your existence beyond a randomly assigned social security number or pharmaceutical script.

Some may mistake this “itch” for the deep clarity found after a three-day alcohol binge, where drunkenness no longer muddles speech or walk, but instead brings a peculiar clearness and focus. Glazed eyes meet a blank stare behind the man—this clarity drives you to confront longstanding problems, pushing the envelope further each time.

To a writer, musician, poet, or any creative soul, substances become a tool to ease the itch, creating a cat-and-mouse game or a precarious dance on the edge of self-destruction. The little voice inside you becomes an integral part of the journey.

Perhaps this “urge” is the catalyst you need, a drive to take risks and excel in your passions. It might be the flame propelling successful people to amass fortunes or the dark impulse guiding some toward heinous acts. It could even be the tickle in your gut on a Saturday morning, an anticipation of greatness as you sip coffee or a Bloody Mary, contemplating the day’s possibilities.

On a Saturday morning, as you sit in peace, contemplating your next move, your daughter emerges from her slumber and zombies her way down the stairs to you in your chair. She climbs onto your lap, eyes cakes and crusty shaking off the dream fog. She drapes her blanket around herself like a queen’s robe. The rhythm of a creative thought syncs with the fluttering inside you. It mirrors the day’s soft energy, similar to the excitement of Christmas morning as a child. Should you work on music, start that procrastinated novel, or build the invention that torments your talent during hypnagogia?

The fluttering intensifies, pushing you to start something, anything, regardless of direction. Rising from your recliner, you head to your creative burrow buried in your basement. 

Your daughter follows in precession, her face squinting against the bright morning light reaching through the blinds once inside the doorway of your lab. Two words still appear on the screen from the last sign off:

DON’T TRY

But you try. You write. And with every keystroke, you strive to catch up to the fluttering that paces ahead at speeds that seem fast for this hour.

A loud ruckus interrupts from the kitchen—a spilled breakfast by your son. 

You push away, daughter in tow and clean the mess, finish breakfast, and promise yourself to retreat to your sanctuary to finish that thought. 

A knock startles you to jump. It pulls you from your focus, but the doorstep is empty. Stepping onto the deck, the peculiar easterly wind whispers promises of a good day, a creative day, but the flutter dampens.

Trying to rekindle the “itch”, you declare today is going to be a great day. You will lay your profound result at the muses’ feet in lieu of receiving accolades. You force it.

Hood pulled up and tugged low, cigarette in hand. You light it with cinematic ease, feeling like James Dean between takes. 

“Today is going to be a good day,” you promise yourself, savoring and sharing the taste of the tobacco with the sweet wind.

Family has won again. 

But as with any day…

that is alright with me.

The Itch – The Flutter: This story can be found in the collection “Spectre of the Brocken: Halo for the Observer”

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Ran Kime Writer
Ran Kime, a writer, poet, musician and recluse from New Hampshire, crafts abstract stories, flash fiction & poetry that probe the psyche. His collections include “Spectre of the Brocken: Halo for the observer” and “Way Past Tipsy & Other Silent Cries for Help”.