When I went out yesterday morning I didn't expect to find a philosophic saying on the back of a truck, but there it was: "Nothing is forever." Thank you, John Boy! My neck has been red and itchy. The rash begs me to scratch. It throbs with pain shot through with a cold shivery pleasure, as if I were being tickled by the devil. My scalp prickles. I'm slathered with calamine lotion the fleshy color of the doll I had years ago. It's time for more lotion. Then I'll fan my neck until the lotion dries and think again of John the Painter.
PS: It turns out I probably had an allergic reaction to the made-in-China shampoo I used at the guesthouse in Provincetown. The nurse practitioner has fixed me up fine with three medicines, and the tormenting itch has quieted down. Bless steroids, antihistamine, and cortisone. I was ready to wait it out, swabbing myself day and night with Calamine.