The blood bank on Miami Beach is an air conditioned RV parked adjacent to the movie theater. A young man asks anyone who passes by for their blood. He talks a good game telling those who might listen how healthy and cleansing it is to have a bit of your blood taken away from you. He catches me at a moment where sacrifice to your community seems like a good idea. Before I commit to it he adds completely unsolicited that weed smoking does not disqualify you from giving blood.
It makes sense that when searching for blood donors marijuana smokers would be the most vulnerable prey. The reward of free juice and cookies is too hard to refuse even at the expense of a pint of blood. Recruiters hanging outside movie theaters promising munchies and free movie tickets to degenerates who spent the last of their petty cash on a dime bag and don’t have the ten dollars necessary to gain entrance to see the newest movie in 3D would probably be more successful than their counterparts parked by post offices.
After entering the RV I was greeted by two men who knew not many licks of English. They handed me a questionnaire with about sixty questions. The most interesting ones were if I had left the country in the last three years, had sex with a prostitute or someone who had sex with money (just in case you did not know the definition of a prostitute) and most discriminatory, if you were a woman had you had sex with a man who had sex with men or if you were a men had you had sex with a man.
So let me get this right, if you are gay not only can you not join the armed forces, marry, nor adopt a child, but you also can’t donate blood. This is an outrage. If I knew being gay barred you from a life with any responsibilities whatsoever I would have signed up for this exclusive club some time ago.
Since I had passed all the qualifications I was told to sit on the hospital bed sculpted into the side of the RV. The pseudo-doctor looked at both my arms and decided my left arm had the easier vein to prick. I sat down, put my arm on the side rest as I looked at my love interest rather than the needle. The pseudo-doctor made the insert and I bided my time as one of the eight to twelve pints of blood were deported from my body. It didn’t hurt, but lasted what felt like an extraordinarily long time.
Finally I was sucked dry. The pseudo-doctor bandaged my arm including a red wrap around my elbow that looked like an accessory a pro basketball player might wear and he went over the dos and don’ts of post-blood donating in broken English. “Drink lots of fluid. Eat lots of meal. No alcohol for four hours. And no sex for four months.”
He let out a loud laugh which we joined in on. Who knew vampires had senses of humor?