This is when more than just your skin crawls.

This is the heebie-jeebies. This is the feeling that sensitive people get when they enter an area where people have been murdered. This is that unreasonable cold that hangs about place where what is undisputedly horrible has happened. This is what lingers in the air of a death chamber. This is the feeling that hangs like a pall over Auschwitz.

There is a room on the Queen Mary where there was supposedly a particularly grisly murder, the perpetrator of which is reportedly some sort of phantom, for thought he was remembered as was his luggage, his room was listed empty and no luggage was in stowage. I have been in this room once. I will never go into this room again. The feeling inside this room is like nothing I'd ever experienced and I hope it stays a most singular one.

A story that my parents tell is of when they were travelling and they picked up a hitchhiker in the middle of the desert off the highway that runs from Los Angeles to Bishop and beyond. He was wearing a camouflage jacket and it was in the late 60's, so they thought he was a veteran. When he got into the cab of the truck and took off his cap, they noted that there was a swastika on his forehead, carved, it appeared. After a few faltering tries at conversation, the ride continued in uneasy silence until the engine hesitated and died and the hitchhiker got out to continue on foot. Neither of my parents felt the urge to mention that this was a common problem with the truck and that it would be running again shortly. Years later they saw a man resembling the one they had picked up that day on a television show. He was famous, now, or infamous rather, convicted for a murder he didn't actually commit, but behind which he was the mastermind. His hair had been shorn when he was incarcerated and into his forehead was carved a swastika. The man was Charles Manson. Just watching him over the television gives me the shivers.

For me, not a disturbing feeling as described above, but a twinge inside you, in your gut, that makes you want something so much it hurts. Like an itch that desperately needs to be scratched, only you can't reach inside yourself and rake your nails across it for relief. It's in your belly, your throat, your stomach, your groin, pulling on you from the inside.

Often, you don't know what causes it, or what will bring relief from it; sometimes it's love, sometimes desperation or anxiety or hurt. It may be sated by sex or food or sleep or TV, or any of the things that usually bring you comfort, but unless you can find a way to scratch it, there will be no reprieve.

A soul itch can be good, as there are good itches, which you or a friend/co-worker/nearby tree can easily scratch, causing a wonderful, orgasmic feeling; it can also feel awful, like when you've lost someone you can't get back, or when you're searching for something and not knowing what it is or where to find it.

Some people find masturbation helpful.

My only advice to those experiencing a soul itch ...

Scratch it!

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