Letters to Holly

Monday, April 12

If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed? In A Bag?

I gave blood Saturday morning at a local church. Three churches team up to host the blood drives on a rotating basis. I was supposed to do this last month, but it was snowed out. The church folks called me to ask that I not give blood until they could hold the session this month. I assume they're competing with other drive hosts for bragging rights. Maybe there's a commission involved. There's no danger of me going to another place to give blood; these people are the only ones who do it on the weekend.

They like to make appointments. They want to know when you will arrive, but it doesn't matter. It's still first-come, first-drain. You sign in, take a number, and sit. I've learned to take a book. As I sit there and wonder if I'll be hooked up within an hour, I imagine bringing my laptop and loudly accessing random porn to see how badly they want my blood. It might allow me to jump in line. The nurses practically glow when they see my big arm veins. It makes their job easier, and I fill a pint pouch within five minutes.

At each station, I asked about my book, Spook by Mary Roach. The volunteers thought it was fiction, and as I explained it was a series of essays investigating the scientific pursuit of theories on the afterlife, I cold see their eyelids droop with each word after "essay." If I had all my blood, I would have thought to spice it up by adding "and then she develops toe cancer and falls in love on a beach with her retired vampire chiropractor."It really is a great read. The second chapter, for instance, looks at how research into semen influenced the notions of the soul's physical whereabouts in the body. As technology improved, and the eye could see further into the cellular structure, the soul lost its status as a physical entity. No one could find it.

A few hours after the donation, I noticed everything I tasted was metallic. Otherwise I was fine. I called the Red Cross later in the day, and they suggested it was a low calcium level. I took one of Your Sister's calcium supplements. I also made note of the low blood pressure. When I gave blood in August, I measured 122/74. On Saturday, I'm at 112/61. I haven't ran nearly as often as I did last year yet Your Sister says Saturday's was a better reading. She also noted I haven't had nearly the amount of wings (slathered in ranch) and beer. I argue the food isn't unhealthy. It's the natural oils from my skin I take in as I lick my ranch-slathered fingers.

While we were out that afternoon, I bought m first new lawnmower in a decade. I held off on buying one for a few years. Dad and I had agreed to buy a new one before he got sick, and I always mentioned our deal when we would meet after his diagnosis. It was my good-luck charm; as long as he had one more thing to plan for, he wouldn't go away. I hoped. Mom declared she would see the deal through, but I wouldn't pick a new mower until she was settled. It sits in our storage room still boxed up. I wanted to wait until the hero comic was done to go mow, but the yard may not wait. Suddenly the show-flattened lawn is sprouting.

We drove down to Columbia Sunday for a shower thrown by her college pals. It was fun. They put on a great spread, and we traded pregnancy notes. Then I found myself siting on a couch opening shower gifts in baby wrapping paper. Never thought I'd be here. Your Sister drove the whole time both ways while I read her the Sunday New York Times. We got back just as the sun set and grabbed Mexican dinner before calling it a day. I woke up super early (for me) today to ink another page. I should be done with the pages by next weekend.

My Mom again asked to know the baby's name. She's antsy. We might tell her Voldemort Bismark just to stop that line of questioning.

Picture of the Day
I must see this.

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