Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blood Letting

The Filipino technician snaps the rubber band around my arm and taps the vein. I look away. It pinches more than usual. I breathe deeply.
"Thank God,” she says after a moment, “you almost gave me a heart attack. I poke, no blood. You just have slow circulation.”
“Oh,” I reply, thinking this isn’t particularly good news. “So you like celebrities?” I ask, looking at the cut outs on the wall. Brangelina Give Big Donation. Only my head has started swimming. I know what’s coming next and I can’t speak in time so I tap her arm.

I see all sorts of scenes. Comforting and playful. Images playing around me.

Then I am being pulled away from it. Too bad! I see the Tech. The East Indian girl I was talking to earlier is handing her wet towels. There’s already a band-aid on my arm. The old Greek ladies are chattering nervously, all standing up to look around the wall of the cubicle. Even the people waiting in the hallway had come in to take a look.
“What happened?” I ask.
“You passed out.”
“Oh.”
They help me to a chair. I hunt in my bag for trail mix and the Greek ladies cluck, "no eat,” as though it explains everything.

I wasn’t supposed to eat. It was a fasting blood test. I probably should have drunk more water, though. That’s what the Tech said. I didn't mention the beer at the Auld Spot last night....

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