She seemed to consider herself an expert
after only donating one time prior,
and from the look that she gave me,
I definitely got the warning signal that it was
beneath her needing to review the advance
reading material on this visit to determine
if any important updates had been added.
Maybe it wasn’t like the weather changing
hour by hour, or even day to day,
but some people have learned that not all things
in the world remained constant and liked to
keep informed, but unfortunately, not all were
as lucky as her, the expert Ms. Know-It-All
bursting with all of this superior intelligence and
keeping it all to herself, and even if she did want to
share a little bit of this knowledge, I knew I wouldn’t
have enough time in the day to listen to all of this
great wisdom, though maybe I should have
been honored just to be in her presence, or at
least that is what I sensed from our brief encounter.
After years of always holding the blood drive
on a Friday, the day of the week was changed
to a Thursday hoping to get a few additional
employees to volunteer in donating since many of
them were now allowed to work from home on Fridays.
Yes, in theory, the change made sense, but it must
have also jinx the blood drive for a winter blizzard
to occur on the very first day of the change,
with a large percentage of the scheduled donors
failing to show up for their appointment.
I was use to observing them as they came through
the doors from outside from working on past drives
at this location, but few walked into the building today.
Blame it on the change of the day,
blame it on the weather,
an omen, maybe telling them that
some changes just weren’t meant to be.
As I laid on one of the beds in the
process of donating a pint of blood,
with a needle stuck in one arm,
she asked me if I wanted a juice or a cocktail
instead of asking if I wanted
some juice or a bottle of water.
I said yes, I would take a Bloody Mary,
but she rescinded her offer on the cocktail
after realizing her mistake, and I ended
taking her up on a can of cranberry juice,
the closest thing resembling the color of the
Bloody Mary that I had earlier requested,
trying to make the best of the situation
from my latest disappointment in life.
Visitor for the Day
I signed in at the front desk,
first typing in my name into the computer,
then took two steps back
as it snapped a picture of my face that
would be printed on the visitor badge I
was advised I was required to wear at
all times while I was in the building.
Besides asking my name,
the computer only asked who I was seeing,
but it did not ask the reason for my visit,
and I guess I should have felt fortunate
a brain scan wasn’t required to siphon any
remaining memories that were stored in my head,
or swabbing my cheek to obtain my DNA,
or taking my fingerprints for further verification.
I was just visiting there for the day, but felt my presence
was made more important than it should have been
by requiring my name and taking my picture.
I would have been happy just to have
remained as being someone unknown,
a status that would return as I left for the day.
Duane Anderson currently lives in La Vista, NE, and volunteers with a non-profit organization as a Donor Ambassador on their blood drives. He has had poems published in The Pangolin Review, Fine Lines, Adelaide, Cholla Needles, Tipton Poetry Journal, Poesis Literary Journal and several other publications.