Saturday, April 07, 2007

You Can Have All The Blood

Once for a high school science fair, I bought a bucket of blood from the slaughterhouse. They didn't charge me much -- just a dollar for the bucket and nothing for the blood. We got it coming out of our ears, here, honey, the old man at the helm said. You can have all the blood you damned well please. I'd gotten it in my head that I would do a project on how fast blood could coagulate. Not everyone was impressed with my second place ribbon or the fact that I'd gone to such lengths to procure an entire heavy bucket that I had to carry with my weak arms all the way back home given that I'd gone by myself and told no one my idea. One of my dad's friends, a brilliant physics guy who'd lost a leg in a plane crash, said that he couldn't believe what stupid ideas won ribbons these days. I couldn't really backtalk him, given his fucked up leg and his mean parrot named Rudy who was prone to swooping down and biting people. I hated that bird with his clipped wings and mean eyes. He could only fly a little around the house, and it had made him bitter. For holidays, Rudy's mother would put colored ribbons on his little parrot head which served to make him look even more evil.

The blood did not conform to my expectations. It was not a smooth liquid -- there were chunks of it that had not broken up. You could hold pieces of it in your hand, which I did. I took some polaroids of it for my poster. I showed it in its different stages. Some parts of it were very dark, others seemed almost pink. You can't generalize about blood. This was in the early eighties and people were becoming fearful of blood in a way they hadn't been before. A few years later, I'd get into an argument with my high school history teacher about the rights of people with AIDS. Do you want the person at McDonald's serving you your orange juice with AIDS? I knew the people who worked at our local McDonald's and frankly was more afraid of their personal hygiene skills than I was of getting AIDS in my orange juice. I stood my ground. You can't get it that way, I argued. I thought back to my bucket, which I'd dipped my hands into many times, just to see what it would look like if I was covered in blood. Like Lady MacBeth, I could still see it sometimes. The bucket had been so heavy, covered with a crappy plastic lid, and I couldn't help but slosh a little on the street as I walked home, leaving a trail.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"You got no say over your heart. And if you think you do, you'd best not let yours roam too far. " Come Early Morning

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Come Early Morning

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Holy Saturday!

ONE more day until The Sopranos airs!


Cheri said...

Ahh the 80's....

My grandfather got Hepatitis through a blood transfusion, which ultimately killed him. For a long time, they thought that he had AIDS.

The first thing I thought about that bucket of blood was Carrie, and her murderous intentions once the blood had been spilled (badda bing, pun intended).

Cheri said...

And what I meant to say about my grandfather was that no matter what was wrong with him, I loved him so fiercely with complete innocence and adoration.

Mr. Oooopsy Daisy said...

A buddy of mine got hepatitis from a blood transfusion. He had to have surgery because he was shot five times with a deer rifle while hunting. He'd become separated from his hunting partner by a cypress hedge. His partner put five bullets into him. It was his father.

Gary Gilmore said...

They smartly put a pan under me when I was shot.

J. Fred Muggs said...

I always use a condom during sex.

Charles Gramlich said...

For a moment I thought we were getting some spin-off of Carrie. Glad you didn't pour it on anyone else.

the walking man said...

My mother always considered her greatest achievement as a social worker as being the first one in this area to convince adoptive and foster families that babies with AIDS were, although special needs children, safe to be around to hold and to love. Her agency was the first to place AIDS babies. This was in 1984 when people had the same knowledge and fear of transmission of the syndrome that your idiot teacher had.

My heart has roamed far and wide; through the vastness of the universe and I want no say in what it feels.

Again to you who are Christian reflect on your mortality becoming eternal on this your highest of holy times...Celebrate this glorious event that this week end marks on your calander



JR's Thumbprints said...

If only I could photoshop a tinge of red in your picture, the post would be perfect. I love the black & white photos, and like always, your writing style.

Dan said...

One of my dad's friends, a brilliant physics guy who'd lost a leg in a plane crash, said that he couldn't believe what stupid ideas won ribbons these days.

Paraphrasing Max Von Sydow's character in "Hannah & Her Sisters" I would say that given what I know about people, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often!