The Psychosomatic Itch to Write and Time TravelsteemCreated with Sketch.

in life •  3 months ago  (edited)

“There’s a tick crawling on your head,” I said to the tot. I picked the little arachnid beast off her bright blond hair and watched it do the insect version of running. Down my finger it scurried, eager to figure out where it was going to bite me.

Once outside in the darkness, dog leash in hand, I disposed of the creature with one flick toward the forest, where it would be in good tick company. I raked my hands through my hair, suddenly very itchy.


Big Dog and I, both itchy for our own reasons, began our walk into the darkness. There was a strange contradiction in the air—one moment the heat of humidity weighed us down, then the next the coolness of an evening breeze. Hot, cold. Hot, cold. Hot, cold. Human step, canine step. Onward.

Oncoming headlights lit up the blackness in an uncomfortable way, but my thoughts were elsewhere as we moved onto the grass.

I was born in the wrong era, Big Dog. We need to go back home, pack up the kids, and move back fifty or sixty years. Back to a time when people still read.

Big Dog seemed to read my thoughts when he lifted his nose to smell the air, like maybe he could smell the dog-approved stenches of the past.


We all have a calling in life, Big Dog. Clearly yours is to smell gross things and scare people. Mine is to be creative. Every human’s calling is to be creative. Creativity is the path to enlightenment. Inner peace comes from exposing that build-up of emotion and mental processes that are unique to your existence to all the other human existences. When we do, our minds expand. It is like when you catch a whiff of dog poop, and suddenly you are bursting with energy as you follow that poop trail all the way to the source—the thrill, the satisfaction—that is how creative expression feels.

On cue, Big Dog stopped to do the dog version of getting creative with a mailbox post. The street ahead was silent, and sleepy, as I was the only human in the vicinity that was outside pondering the meaning of life. I looked at a few houses with warm glows coming from within the living room windows. They were snug and inviting looking, but empty compared to the stretch of wildness set before me. Nighttime has a way of draping everything in darkness so that it is all reclaimed as wild.

The problem, Big Dog, is this: my creative expression is writing, but nobody wants to read anymore. Just think of it all, Big Dog. While you are dozing on the floor all afternoon, most people are working routine jobs that don’t require any new brain power. Then, most people come home from work and sit in front of the TV to stare mindlessly. And then, before bed, most people scroll their Facebook feed, mindlessly looking at memes and short videos, but definitely not reading. In a way I don't blame them. Everyone wants some mindless downtime. The evil isn’t in the downtime, but in the downtime habit.


Something rustled in the brush nearby. A raccoon, or a possum, or an armadillo. Big Dog raised the hair on his back, sniffing with snout pointed aggressively in that direction. I tugged, ushering him onward. Up ahead a thin tall shadow stood in a ditch. It vaguely looked human, but I knew it wasn’t. Big Dog paid it no mind. Above us the crescent moon flickered from out behind the heavy cloud cover for just a moment, like that one brief instant that someone on Facebook clicked on an article with more than two hundred words in it.

So, Big Dog, all the humans are so overstimulated by the memes and the silly videos and two sentence paragraphs and the bad habits of mindlessness, that they have no energy to read. It’s a rough time to be a writer.

We turned the corner and caught sight of a workman loading up tools into his truck. He was shirtless, and his skin was that brownish-red color that comes from being sunburnt over and over and over again, until the skin takes on an impenetrable look. He looked towards us cautiously, wondering if the 120 pound woman was going to be able to hold back the 80 pound dog. Big Dog let his lip rise in that junkyard dog sort of snarl, with the hair rising up on his back. We did a nod, and I patted Big Dog as my thoughts rolled on.

Good boy, you just fulfilled your need to be scary. I’m sure that gave you much happiness, but just trying to be scary would have made you just as happy. Writing, whether or not it is read, makes me happy. Writing isn’t a choice. When creativity calls, you have to respond.


I let out a slow sigh as we rounded the corner, circling back toward our house. Inside, a sink of dishes sat, a watermelon waited to be cut, hungry dogs salivated, and a matriarch was needed to enforce toy clean up time, baths, story reading…and then, finally, sometime around midnight, writing. Because writing isn’t a choice, it is something that must be done by me.

Big Dog snorted at the doorway in expectation of his dinner. I remembered the tick, and I scraped my fingernails across my neck and abdomen as the psychosomatic itches settled in again.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Don't despair! Some of us still read.

I love you people :)

I definitely read it from top to bottom and would agree about the mindlessness most people are occupied with these days. Keep writing and keep steeming.
I am here to give you Plankton tokens because your nice work was referred by @blacklux. Keep up the good work and please check us out at @plankton.token.
!plkn 0.25 Great writing, keep steeming!

Hello, @mermaidvampire,

This bot is designed to support people with less than 500 SP.

This person has more than 500 SP, so we can't tip them!

~ Plankton Team
Want To Chat? Join us on Discord


Thank you for reading and thanks for stopping by!

There's still room for thoughtful writing. I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I skip the posts that are all video with no text. I prefer reading because I can do it at my own pace, and I can do it on the train without headphones on.

I do the same thing! We need to find the people like us and have our own community...or maybe just stop wasting writing time on social media :)

Don't despair, still plenty of people reading. You will find your tribe on buses and trains if you're lucky. Most of them are at home, reading.

I sure hope so. I think a large portion of my generation is not in the reading group though.

but 60 years ago woman didn't had the freedom we had today... if you're gonna time travel move to the future, people supposed to be smarter in the future....

Well, I'm already a stay-at-home mom, and I really like dresses, so...I might could make sixty years ago work ;)

I wish we had more than 7 days to resteem great content! This post is a keeper. All I could do is tweet the link.
You don't use Frontline or ivermectin or any of those flea/tick/heartworm meds, and your dog is ok? I swear, vets are like Big Pharma, raking in the $$ for all these products and procedures.
How old is Old Man Dog?
I love your writing!!! And the time travel idea, the conversations with the dog, the justifications for writing, and the ultimate fact: you can't NOT write. There. Readers or no readers, you will still write!

I stopped using the tick meds early on after moving to our current place. I'm very suspicious of the pills, and I hated petting them with those nasty tick collars on. We just deal with it as they come. They don't get them too often, fortunately.

Old Man Dog is in good health for his old man condition. He still knows how to give deer a good scare.

There are times words just beg to be written. Not telling a story is letting the words atrophy. Got to get it out :)

ha! howdy ginnyannette! I hate ticks! do you guys use a collar for the dogs? We finally broke down a got an expensive one from the vet this year and yay, no ticks! I have to be careful because they don't stay on him, they jump on me!

I guess I'm not creative because writing is such a chore. Can you hold Big Dog back if he lunges?

We don't use anything on the dogs anymore, don't like the chemicals. They do alright with the ticks anyway. We just find one now and then.

Creative writing is only not a chore when it isn't forced. You have a schedule to keep up with, so I can see how it would be more work than play. I will catch up on Hermann soon. I don't really think I am growing anymore here, so I am focusing some of my energy in a different direction, which makes it harder to find time. But I will certainly be coming by still :)

Big Dog wears a leader, otherwise if he thinks he is protecting me, we will be going where he wants to go.

lol! he will go where he wants to go. yeah, those big dogs are so powerful!

What do you mean by "a different direction?" Growth here has almost stopped completely so it's fairly painful and I understand, I'm constantly looking at other options myself.

I just started writing on my own little page locally. I like doing it a lot. So long as I am writing I don't care so much, so it is tricky recognizing when I am wasting my time because I just keep on chugging. But I really do think my time is better spent elsewhere. Who knows though, maybe I am wrong. I will still be here when I can.

You may be totally right. I think steemit will slowly keep growing and getting bigger and in a few years I think the price of Steem will be much higher than now from everything I've read. But at the rate its going you could take time off and it wouldn't matter that much in the long run.

What do you mean, your own little page locally? A page in an online newsletter?

I'm skeptical based on how complicated it all is. Looking at my Facebook account, I think about 1 percent would want to deal with all of it. But maybe I'm wrong, or maybe there is a huge group of techies out there that just haven't discovered this place yet. Either way I like lots of people here, so I will still be around.

I agree, it's way to complicated for the masses. So you're just slowing down, not leaving?
What is the local thing you're doing?

Yeah, I'm just slowing down, trying to pour some energy into the next thing. I've only got so much time to go around. I started my own little blog doing my thing, but incorporating a lot of the writing I wanted to do on local subjects, which are meaningless here.

I came to see if you had posted and I missed it in my feed. I love reading what you write and the way you write.

I found that I had voted this post, but hadn't read it yet, something that nearly never happens. I must have been in a hurry somehow and didn't want to forget to vote you. I know being read is more important than a vote.

I love your imagination. You take a different mental path and that is something that feels like home to me.

That is so sweet of you. I really appreciate you reading. I have been a bit absent here lately because of some other projects, but hoping to get back to my every other day posting again soon.

When you have Big Dog at your side anything can happen ;)

The writing in this story is superb and full of exquisite detail. It flows very nicely, and I can see that you're having fun with it. It's playful and rhythmic.

A walk with the Big Dog always inspires something :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Congratulations @ginnyannette! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You received more than 1000 as payout for your posts. Your next target is to reach a total payout of 2000

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!