Coming home from a third night in a row donut run, I saw a bus for blood donations. I gave blood. This is what I wrote on receipts from my wallet while I was giving blood.
I sit in the back of a van on the side of 9th Street a block away from my favorite subway stop and two blocks away from both my favorite pizza place and my favorite donut place. A cream filled long john sits in my stomach, Paparazzi plays in the van, and the innuendo at the beginning of that sentence makes me giggle. Out of my porthole of the van I see the night traffic of Brooklyn coming in from Manhattan. I was in Manhattan just an hour earlier at an audition for an NYU student film adaptation of an Ethan Coen one act. I rushed all my lines and my voice went higher than I wanted it to, which happens every audition I do. I don’t expect the get the part, which won’t be the end of the world, and hopefully auditioning for the first time in two years will help me lower my nerves before my comedy troupe audition on Thursday. Nobody’s talked to me since I came onto the bus with my form fully filled out. They probably think I’m still filling it out as I sit her fervently scribbling these notes. Someone is coming over.
This nurse is nice. Debbie. She’s pretending to like my name by calling it unique. Complimenting one’s name isn’t really a compliment. At least not to you, it’s more of compliment to your parents. It’s just forcing you to be a messenger of a compliment. It’s like saying: “Hey, I think that your mother makes good soup, but I’m gonna tell you.” Maybe it’s a compliment by heredity, like if you have a nice name, they assume you will name your child well as well. Well Debbie doesn’t know me. I’ve been planning on naming my child Apple since before Gwyneth Paltrow even thought of inflating her stomach with another man’s sperm. I wish I were donating sperm. Then I’d be getting money instead of juice and cookies.
Debbie’s asking me about when I left the country in the last three years. That was the only question I answered yes to besides if I had read the information, if I felt well, and if I weighed over 110 lbs. The 110 lb. question made me sad. It reminded me of a time when I was a junior in high school and all my friends got to skip third period, but I couldn’t because I wasn’t big enough to donate blood. It only made it worse that my jealousy was only tangibly manifested by me getting to complain about not getting to have cookies and juice during fourth period. I still didn’t quite feel like a big boy.
I really only answered that I’d been outside of the US and Canada in the past three years because it would depress me if I hadn’t. I didn’t really remember having left the continent in that long, but I’m sure I had. I’m a first generation immigrant who’s somewhat well off, I should be internationally travelling all the time. Luckily I remembered that I had gone to visit my family in Sweden during January of ’08. Now at least I didn’t have to admit that I lied on my blood donor form in order to appear more cultured. I almost did the same when they asked if I had had any homosexual contact “even once” because I wanted to show that I was open minded. Then I almost wrote a side note of, but I’ve barely had any heterosexual contact either, but decided that was overkill.
Debbie’s impressed by how quickly my blood clotted after I was pricked. Damn right. I got awesome blood. I wonder how impressed she’ll be when she realizes that I’m O-, the universal donor. Maybe I should slip her my number. I wonder if her husband and kids will mind. I don’t actually remember if I’m O-. That might have just been from when we checked our blood types in sophomore year biology. All the guys kept pricking themselves to prove they could bear the pain, and I had to comply in order to be a man. I don’t think that test was necessarily accurate.
It always annoys me, when people say “rare blood type” like it’s a good thing. The rarest blood types are the ones that can’t donate to anybody. If you have a rare blood type, nobody gives a shit if you donate. It’s the common blood types that are better donaters.
They are bringing me over to the “bed” to lie down on. It’s too small. If only those high-school blood donors could see me now. I was too big to donate blood. I’m not actually that tall. I wonder what happens to people that break the 6 ft. barrier. Do they have to curl in a ball to donate blood. I can’t look while they inject things into me. It’s not the blood, and it’s not the pain, it’s the hole. I don’t like seeing a hole in my body. It makes me feel very mortal. The lady in front of me looks like she just came from jogging. Who jogs and then gives blood? Who needs to do that much good that takes that much out of your body in one day? The immortal, that’s who. I hope she passes out. She’s done filling up her bag. She got water instead of juice and two bags of trail mix. What a healthy bitch. If she got two bags, I’m taking at least three. They’ll probably be cookies and chips instead. Maybe I’ll take trail mix because it probably has the highest calorie content, and I need lots of calories.
I had just eaten a donut from the aforementioned two block away place. I had afforded it for the third day in a row by scrounging through the pockets of my previously worn jackets until I dug up enough change to get myself a Boston Creme. I have an spreadsheet dedicated to a monthly budget. The rows that I add up to find the leftover amount of money I can spend on groceries are: Rent, Transportation, Entertainment (Shows/Movies), donuts, and party. My groceries budget will come out of my party budget before it comes out of my donut budget. I allocate 2/3 the amount of money I allow myself for groceries to donuts. They should serve donuts when you are done with giving blood. I bet they’d get more people.
How come all the doctors are Indian men and all the nurses are black women? Why do they have to be so…? They keep talking about things behind me that I want to look at but every time I turn my head, Kahn tells me to stay still. Fuck Kahn. Why’s he being such a dick? I’m at the end of the bus, the only things that are in front of me is the kenmore cooler where you keep bags of blood. If I were a vampire I wouldn’t kill people or bite people, I would just raid Blood donor banks. It would be pretty easy. There isn’t a lot of security.
Every time I rest my head they all ask me if I’m okay. That’s annoying. I guess I have to keep my head elevated.
I’m finally finished, and once again I have to look away as they expose the whole in my arm. They are telling me to drink lots of fluid, but all I can think about is the exciting juice and cookies that await me. The guy who took my form who waits at the end of the bus asks me if I want a beer. I respond appropriately to his joke and we continue to have a rapport. I like him. He likes me. Maybe I should slip him my number. Then maybe I could fill out that box on the application the way I wanted to and come off as open minded. Instead I grab two bags of trail mix, a bag of cookies, a bag of chips and a juice box and hit the road.
Juice boxes are a funny thing. I was excited to be drinking flavored liquid for the first time in weeks as my finances left me with tap water as my only source of hydration, but drinking through a tiny straw that keeps slipping to far into the tinfoil hole in the top as you walk down a busy street makes you look like an idiot. How did I drink a juicebox every day with lunch during high school. I must have looked like an idiot. Way more than when I didn’t get to give blood.