I donated blood today.
Nurse: Wow, donating on your birthday. That’s nice.
Me: I’m mostly doing it so I get wrecked later on with tequila tonight.
Nurse: …please don’t.
While having lower tolerance can be a perk, I donate because they give my blood to infants. I’m O positive and typically do doubles. If my memory of human physiology is still intact, babies’ blood is more oxygenated than adults’ blood. When you donate double units they run your blood through a machine that pumps all the platelets, proteins, and other shit with saline back into your arm; it leaves very concentrated red blood cells capable of soaking up oxygen in the bags. Perfect for little ones in critical condition.
The first time I donated was in Tampa. I boarded some Red Cross bus because they promised me pizza and juice. I remember seeing my life force being drained from me, blackish blood running through a tube that felt warm. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience mostly because they dug around in my arm with a huge needle looking for a vein.
A few weeks later I received a letter telling me they sent my blood to a pediatric clinic and gave me a pin that said “Baby Brigade Donor.” I still have it. It’s kinda comforting knowing some little kids are running around today because they stole my energy and power. Lil shits. I hope my asshole-qualities rubbed off in their tiny veins.
PS I like kids.