I got an itch. It is bad.

I can feel it again. 

It is slight at first, growing stronger as time goes by.  I will notice it, let’s say on a Tuesday then won’t notice it again until Friday maybe Saturday.  It is a combination between the feeling you left the stove on after almost getting to work; and an itch. 

It is sneaky and unless scratched or satisfied it never goes away. 

For me, it is the need to write.

I remember the first time I was bit by the writing bug.  Pure ego.  Nothing more.  I didn’t begin by having a strong desire to compose literature.  I was in High School and the setting, predictably enough, my senior English classroom. 

Now, a bit of a back story, don’t freak out.  It is short.

I skipped tons of school my senior year.  I only had two classes thanks to work release (I didn’t have to be at work until 6:00pm.) but I hated it and didn’t wanna go. 

See that wasn’t so bad.

So, one of the two classes I did have Senior English was my first of the day. 

(Remember it is the first class out of two.  Who gets away with this shit?  If you are more worried about your tan than your GPA or college career, you can.  I know I did.)

I frequently arrived late, or didn’t show up at all.  I probably graced Mrs. French with my presence seventy five percent of the time.  And when I did roll on in at the un Godly hour of 7:45AM I would realize by eight, that I was starving.  And after taking a poll so were most of my classmates.

Sarah to the rescue. 

You want food?  Sure thing. 

*Raises Hand

“Um, Mrs. French, can I use the pass?”

Mind you this is the HALL pass.

“Yes, but make it quick.” 

“Sure thing Mrs. French.”

I would then proceed to my car, head over to Hardees and pick up at least six breakfasts for my fellow English could-care-lessers.

While I may be painting a picture of myself as a care-free, fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal, I was still SUPER paranoid that I would get caught. 

Just never enough to actually prevent me from leaving campus.  Which was, and I am sure still is, a big no no.

One day after arriving back and divvying out our hot buttery biscuits with gravy, egg, sausage, bacon, anything that would satisfy our late teen hunger, Mrs. French called my name.

My first thought, as an admitted over thinker,

“Shit, I am caught.”

She didn’t say it very sternly; I just assume when I do something wrong Murphy’s Law follows me around like a sad puppy where ever I go.

I walk up to her desk and she peers at me under a massive beehive and over very heavy bifocal lenses. 

“I need to see you after class.”

“Yes Maam”

Activate downward mind spiral

Yes, this is it, I am doomed.  It is a month to graduation and I am going to get suspended over a fucking biscuit.  You just haaad to be cute didn’t you.  You couldn’t wait until you LEFT school at 10:00am??  Really???  All of this sprinted through my panicking brain before I made it back to my seat.

Everyone is already looking away from me as if they don’t see me. I won’t tell on them for giving me Hardees orders for the last four months.  You all can take your hash rounds and shove them up your ass.  If it were you, I would be ratted out quicker than shit through a sieve.  And they know it.

Doesn’t matter though.  I am on my own. 

It takes approximately 4,339 minutes for class to end. 

Once the bell does ring I am faily positive it doesn’t matter if I get suspended for leaving campus.  I am going to die of a heart attack before I even make it to her desk.

I arrive at her desk, and through a mound of papers she retrieves one lone piece of notebook paper. 

I recognize it immediately as my creative writing paper I had banged out the week prior about three minutes before it was due.  There were a total of three pages, but she is not the most organized hen in the hen house so those have gone missing.

She then tells me that she is going to submit my paper to “The American Embassy of the Best Writers in all of High School Contest.” (Clearly not the name, but it was similar and I just can’t remember.)

The paper, I still remember, was about how a single woman in her twenties was living in the future.  I think around three hundred years from now.  About how she had to wear a helmet due to pollution.  It was no Al Gore Go Green Campagin, I just took everything I saw going wrong now and made it twenty times worse, then made her have to deal with it on a day to day basis.  It was cute.

I didn’t win.

But I did take the paper back, once she found the rest, and read it again.

It was good.

I had no idea.

Not Pulitzer good, but good for someone who put no thought into it. Hell, it was good for someone who HAD put thought into it. 

And starting that day, a tiny little voice in the back of my head started to say oh so quietly, “That was nice, that recognition thing.  You should try to write again.  You like it, you might be good at it……”

And so the compulsion began.

And it has brought you this post. 

Sixteen years later and I don’t think that itch will ever be satisfied into submission.

Thank God.


As Always,

Woman on Pause

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