On Blood

I cut my finger today using a knife in a stupid way. It wasn’t “oh my god, get some ice” bad, but it was bleeding quite a lot. When you cut yourself and you’re alone, it’s hard to know how to judge it. It didn't seem bad, but any amount of blood that won’t stop coming out of you seems like a primal cause for alarm, at least for me. I stuck my finger quickly into my mouth to avoid dripping on the butcher block countertop. (Got it all but a drop, damn!)

The sensation of your own open wound in your mouth is an odd one. My injury was far from mortal, but, the tinny taste of blood did not slowly fade away, as with nicks and scrapes of the past. Instead, it began slowly pooling in my mouth, trickling slowly but persistently like an almost-dead keg trying to fill that last the solo cup. I am not squeamish, but, still: a mouth full of blood, ew.

I ran to the bathroom. Having tasted enough of myself, I spat blood into the sink, my left index following as it steadily dripped thick, red blood. Again, not an alarming oh-god-am-i-going-to-pass-out level of blood, but enough so that once I finished one handedly groping for the first aid kit, fumbling with the latch and finally opening the thing, the white porcelain sink looks like Lady Macbeth’s. I find an antibacterial wipe. I wipe the wound as it continues to bleed, which feels like bailing out a sinking ship with a coffee cup. Bandaids.

I rifled past the Star Wars ones— not because I didn’t want to use them, but because I'd already used up all the big ones on other failures and the tiny remainders will not do for this job. Blood spattered here and there, a little on the floor, the trash can, the lid of the for-some-reason closed toilet. I ripped bandaids open with my teeth, dropped the paper and plastic refuse into the sink. They turned crimson too, my blood seemingly in everything. I was not panicking, but I acknowledge that if someone had walked in at that moment, I would have looked pretty panicked.

Eventually, I corralled the bleeding with the pressure of several bandaids, and went back to moving. This went fine for a while; my finger hurt from the tightness, but I successfully moved a dresser, file cabinet, rolling chair, a disassembled ikea table, and a desktop computer before I notice some blood seeping between the bandages. I finish my errand of dropping off some unwanted books and cookbooks at The Last Bookstore, where they pass on a few perfectly good cookbooks because of a little grease or whatever staining the tops of a few pages, fascists. (Anybody want some cookbooks?)

Finally, I get some Neosporin and return home to rebandage, which goes bloody again. The resulting solution is a heap of fresh bandaids that have turned my left index finger into more of a baton than a functioning digit, and one that hurts when you use it to do anything but point.

The point of this story is: it is very hard to type without using your left index finger, but it can apparently be done.