The metallic taste of blood was in my mouth. It wouldn’t have tasted all that bad, if I didn’t know what it was. There was something artistic about the deep red trickling down; just a bit of fascination was mixing with the horror blood inspires. The fascination naturally comes from the horror—there is always an opposite of everything, just festering away in the back of the mind.
Darkness had settled in early. The colors of lights were blending together and rushing by on the street like too much paint on a canvas. The yellow streaked out across the black; the red bled down onto the yellow. I drove forward to sully up my tires in that thick paint, but it moved onward down the highway before me—I kept my eyes on my own headlights, but would never reach them.
My blood was trickling down my white face. A beautiful contrast of colors, but so messy. I felt an instant—just an instant—of the white hot rush of faintness to the face. Bad idea. Don’t look.
Haemophilia.The feeling starts somewhere—maybe the chest—and then it rises up to the head. Once reaching the head, the cloud forms around it. The cloud is hot and dizzying. The feeling just keeps coming, flowing upward to the head faster and faster, combining with the cloud to make a nauseating feeling of desperation.
The body clings desperately to consciousness, because they must never ever be separated. Never ever, until they are, but at least only briefly. They come back together with the removal of the needle, resting there together against the plush chair next to sterile white laboratory walls.
The blood is a symbol. It reminds the conscious mind it does not want to be separated, or at least not for long. It has its reasons. Plenty of reasons, but the biggest reason to stay together is for the small external reasons.
The painted street lines rushed onward. The tot sang from the backseat in the garbled voice of a child only three years into this learning to be a human gig. “Never kiss a frog on his sticky lips, his sticky lips, his sticky lips. Never kiss a frog on his sticky lips, or you may become a frog. And then you’ll sing ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit…”
Birth.It is the hush of midwives moving somewhere beyond the three inches in front of the face, out of focus. The focus is on that exact second, because in that level of pain a mind trying to focus on anything more would collapse from the burden. And then it happened—the opposite of all the negatives associated with life—birth. Then came the jolly voices, the elated stillness of an abdomen that is suddenly very flat, the smell of birth in the air.
And there it was smeared on the sheets beneath. Blood. Life force.
That’s what it is then: to fear blood and needles is to fear life force. To fear life force is to fear death, and life, because there is always the opposite. Life can be fearful because of the careful maintenance required, lest you lose it.
Those paint smears just kept moving in the distance. Always watched, but not touchable. Thunder rumbled in the distance. The blood pumped on in my body. So many unseen or untouchable sources. Out of reach, just as they should be.
The blood dripped down my lips, filling in their crevices like little channels for faster transport of the traveling river. From there it settled, waiting for the opportune moment to catapult itself onto the chest. Once done, there was a slow and steady movement down, settling between the breasts like it belonged there. Deep red.
Damn these bloody noses. Where is a tissue when you need one?