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February 05, 2004
How to imagine the condition of others and how not to look at one's blood being taken...

A friend in Berlin once told me that one of her pastimes was to imagine what kind of issues the other people on the train might have… I mean… think beyond a common cold. Could you spot the guy who just ate a whole sandwich while tied to a chair, upside down? How about somebody else, who likes to spend their night in a tank filled with water. That little old lady back on the seat near to the exit might be actually a famous breeder of some very special bacteria… and that homeless guy, there in the corner… he might be an actor, a supermodel, a hygiene expert… pretending to smell like an antique urinal.
So if such strange assumptions can be made on the subway, what is left to imagine in the waiting room of a cardiologist? Clearly some of the people here moved too quickly into some serious direction.
The older gentleman I saw yesterday looked like Willy Loman, he had forgotten to take off his hat, he was marking some lists in a packed manilla folder. From time to time he would shake his head… how dare they, how dare they…
The other older gentleman had been left behind by his maybe 40 years younger wife. She probably went shopping, he barely heard the calls, when his car arrived. The wife of the Hassidic man had to take him downstairs… or at least the rest of the family convinced her to. Her husband went to pray right after. The older lady, also with them, she must have been related, made sure to show off her large blue marks on both of her strangely shaped legs. I really do not know what the story was all about. The mishpucha spoke the fast kind of jiddish/hebrew mix.
There was this 20 something guy in the waiting area today. He was somehow fascinated by that food and wine magazine. The lady next to me just read the New York Times. Did he have a broken heart? Did she lose hers in translation?…
I only had to go back today to give some (4-5 of those little containers with that waxy stuff on the bottom) blood for testing. I wonder what will come back in a few weeks. One of the tests is apparently “experimental”; how nice to know my blood will be right on the cutting edge.
Oh, and I do shivers when I see any kind of injury on someone… and I would have probably fainted seeing my blood drawn.
But I knew all that… and I can tell you, that there is this very interesting double edge in the corner of the ceiling of that doctor’s office… and that the lady who took my blood, was the most skilled one yet.
So what do your friends on Orkut have?


When I see blood it reminds me of combat. An archaic sense of duty in a different time, the old
blood and earth symbolism. It is at first frightening but then like a boxer who is tasting his own blood running down his face it makes me
relaxed and hyper energized for the fight , adrenaline coursing through every atom in my body. The horrible beauty of human combat. Strange but true its in my DNA, god help us.

Posted by: Fritz on February 5, 2004 10:30 PM

oh, I don't mind the taste of my own blood... it tastes like bacon... (kidding)...
i guess I would have more blood stories to tell here than good taste permits... and so I shall stare again to that imaginary ceiling... : )

Posted by: Witold Riedel on February 5, 2004 10:49 PM

I have seen a lot of blood in my life. As a teenager, my friend (who will remain nameless, but not forgotten) took his own life in front of me and several friends with a single shot to the head. A lot of blood (as well as much of my friends thoughts) came out and covered much of us. A few years later, when my father was shot and killed in a botched robbery (they never caught the crook[s]), my mother sent me into his office to retrieve his personal belongings (she did not trust the police to do this). Backing up, I accidentally stepped onto the rock-hard, shiny, reddish-black pool of solidified blood were my father had just passed away (from multiple shots to the face, from what I was told) only a few hours earlier. I've always wondered what his last thoughts were as he lied there that morning. Was he thinking of his family and if he'd ever see them again? His accomplishments and what he'd never be able to "cross off his list?" Or perhaps, he was just staring at that "imaginary ceiling" and drifting away on a happy little cloud. I sure hope that's what he was thinking. Everyone deserves a happy little cloud from time to time.

Posted by: Stephan on February 6, 2004 01:55 AM

Ummmm, put some ice on that--You look a wee bit swolen.

Posted by: Emily on February 6, 2004 03:28 AM

alles wird gut ;-)

Posted by: katie on February 6, 2004 04:25 AM

I am fascinated by blood tests. The few times I have given blood I remember being completely engrossed in the process: the needle, the first few drops, then the rush of blood…(always a surprise) and finally the neat test tube (with a little part of me inside) carefully placed... ready for testing. It also reminds me of how disconnected I am to my body. There is so much going on…just below the surface; wonderful things, over which I have no control.

Posted by: christy on February 6, 2004 10:34 AM

hope you are okay... I think there are only good clouds wherever you go... so yes... i think when I die... I will try to remember the good clouds... (thank you for sharing your memories...)

Posted by: Witold Riedel on February 6, 2004 11:16 AM

i'm very squeamish, too. i always look away. when it's done and they release the tourniquet i'm always amazed to see those vials filled with my blood. "that was just in me!" it's all very weird.

when i do encounter an exceptionally skilled nurse --one that draws the blood without causing even a trace of pain-- i always make sure to thank him/her. loudly. "you're the best!!!" i want to make sure all the other nurses hear that compliment, and i secretly hope they all strive to get a similarly enthusiastic compliment from me next time i come in. :-)

Posted by: christa on February 6, 2004 04:49 PM

what s all this orkut thing?

Posted by: yanne on February 7, 2004 04:47 PM
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