Some Weird Skin Thing

I scratch my skin a lot. Especially at night. The worst nights, I wake up mornings and look as if ratnails tore at me. Even after all these years of worst mornings, my husband still says, “What the?” I tell him, myself, I scratch because I itch. It’s weird and I’ve tried a lot of products to help it, I even found some which succeeded. My friends gave me recommendations too like propaira. Well I looked up where to buy propaira in australia, because that’s where it originates, but I also found that you can order online anywhere you are. So that’s helpful. In fact many other products have the same thing. I could go to the ends of the earth to find a product to get rid of my excessive itching but my skin is on a different level! What is its problem!

I loved Caitlin Horrock’s debut story collection, This is Not Your City. It’s an outstanding story collection written with great beauty, skill and compassion that I’ll return to again and again in my lifetime to reread, study, savor, and celebrate.

The collection is so consistent it’s hard to say I’ve a favorite story, but “Steal Small” especially makes my heart wish it could sometimes wear armor.

From “Steal Small”:

“I brushed the backs of his knuckles. ‘The gangrene’s back,’ he said, which it was, but he doesn’t need to warn me like he thinks he does. He doesn’t really have gangrene, just some weird skin thing that makes him itch so bad he scratches even in his sleep, until the skin breaks open and starts oozing, sometimes blood and sometimes something clear and sometimes both together, so his skin shines in the light like a pink glaze, like glass or pastry.”

And then later, close to the story’s heartbreaking end:

“[Leo’s] skin thing is getting worse. He’s got patches so bad they’re swampy with fluid, where his shirts stick and scabs won’t form. He’s always been hourly at National Beef so there’s no insurance. It’s like he’s molting into something new and horrible, and all I want to do is hold his skin closed, press the seams of him together, so he won’t fall apart and nothing in our lives with change, because I figure I’m about as happy as I’m going to get the way things are.”

You can buy This Is Not Your City, Sarabande Books, here.

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