Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blood: Veteran

The lobby of the plasma center was full --a lot of new faces. I've been seeing a lot more new faces lately, people coming in to give bleeding for cash a try. A lot of them, I think, just do it the one time, take the money, realize it's a pretty creepy way to make twenty bucks then go do something else less creepy --like stealing things, giving blow jobs to strangers or stealing things.

A young, black woman came dressed like this was a job interview. She was pretty. Her hair was neatly styled. She wore lipstick and seemed completely out of place among the crop of meth addicts scattered around the room, all of whom looked in need of a sandwich --probably a sandwich made with very soft bread.

Jesus, what kind of drug is so good that you'd let it do that to your mouth? Obviously, a drug I have not sampled.

I sat next to the young, eager woman. She looked over at me.

"Do I need to use one of those computers?" She asked.

I smiled.

"This your first time?"

She nodded.

"Did you sign up at the desk?"

She nodded.

"You don't have to use the computer until you're in the system," I explained. "It's part of the routine, how you sign in."

She managed a nervous smile.

"You're doing exactly what you're supposed to," I told her. "Don't worry. You're fine."

And eventually, they got around to calling her back to ask her a load of personal questions and submit to a pseudo-physical involving going topless and taking off her shoes. At least, that's what they had me do.

With all the people coming through, it was slow going. It took twice as long to get a chair in the back and get hooked up to a machine, though I did my part and tried to bleed as quickly as possible.

At least, I got another entry into the raffle for a Wal-mart gift card. I'm crossing my fingers.

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