yours, tiramisu

paid in blood

Well, I'm grindin' my life out, steady and sure
Nothin' more wretched than what I must endure
I'm drenched in the light that shines from the sun
I could stone you to death for the wrongs that you done

Sooner or later, you make a mistake
I put you in a chain that you never will break
Legs and arms and body and bone
I pay in blood but not my own

Night after night, day after day
They strip your useless hopes away
The more I take, the more I give
The more I die, the more I live

(Pay in Blood)

This morning the phlebotomist1 managed to get all five tubes of blood she needed with one stick, which is no small miracle. When she asked me to press down on the cotton ball before pulling the needle out of my arm, I grinned. It's going to be a good day, I thought to myself.

I'm a notoriously difficult stick, especially for newer phlebotomists or ones who haven't had me before. I'm used to leaving appointments with two, three, even four different punctures (sometimes on my hand when they get desperate), and deep purple bruising all over my forearm for days afterward if I'm unlucky. I don't know why this is. I've heard hapless technicians cite everything from my small veins and lean arms to the thick, syrupy consistency of my blood. It's probably a mix of all of the above. Despairing phlebotomists always look at me with such pity when they dig around my arms with needles, but I'm certain I feel worse for them. Something like twenty have tried, and most have failed.

I've been surprisingly productive this week, whether in spite of the stress or because of it. I hate feeling that tension in my chest, but I usually respond to it with extreme productivity, which naturally conditions people to task me with even more. The more pressure supervisors pile on me, the more they get out of me, even if it comes at the expense of my mental health. Obviously, this is not a sustainable cycle and I'm still working out how to break out of it, but it's nice to have a spurt of productivity when you need it. One of my friends praised me for how much I'd done this week and man, was that music to my ears.

It's been a while since I wrote about what's going on outside. We're firmly in spring now. The cherry blossoms bloomed first and the ornamental pears followed, shedding white petals like snow when the wind blows.2 Everything is covered by a fine layer of pollen, which blows up into dust trails behind cars and drains into yellow rivers when it rains. It's kept my mom miserable and indoors for a few days on end now. I'll always be grateful that I'm not allergic, though on days when it's exceptionally bad even my breath will catch on all that dust in the air.

By this time next week I'll be in San Francisco for my friend's wedding. The last time I was there was the summer of 2022 (wow, how time flies). I've been meaning to share photos of that week before I go again, so maybe I'll do that this weekend. So many memories of mine are buried there. How's that song go again? I left my heart in San Francisco?

  1. You ever think about jobs you could never do? I don't know how much money you'd have to offer me to stick needles into people's arms.

  2. They remind me of those little circle clippings that collected in the hole punchers at grade school.

#english #life #wordvomit