How much blood is in the human body?
I found myself pondering the question as I could see what I assumed to be most of mine pooling on the floor around me. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be. You always hear about the ‘dark crimson’ or the ‘velvety red’ of blood. It’s always deep, rich, luxurious.
Maybe mine just wasn’t as worthy as the blood of great novels. To me it seemed cold and thin. Almost eager to leave the body it had sustained for the last two and a half decades. It was almost insulting. And yet, still, out it poured. It didn’t ooze — I thought blood was supposed to ooze.
‘Ooze’ is a strange word.
I could feel my thoughts running away with me. It occurred to me that it was an oddly meta experience to be having, to feel yourself slipping into unconsciousness. One always ‘slips’ into unconsciousness it seems. Like its a dress one has, reserved for special occasions. Death, I suppose, is about as ‘special’ as an event gets.
How often do you stop and think about it? I mean, really think about it. The nothingness. The emptiness and finality that it entails. Whatever you believe lies beyond, if you believe there is anything beyond at all, dying is always the last thing one does in the mortal plane.
And suddenly it hit me. I was dying.
Of course, I had known I was going to die. Well, I mean, everyone is going to die. Specifically I knew I was going to die today. When I walked into this room I knew it would be one of the very last things I did. It wasn’t what I wanted, exactly. But I had at least made my peace with it.
The injustice of it all slammed into me. It stung — no it burned — inside me. Hotter than the blood that was still trying to escape its home; faster than the bullet that had facilitated its exit. This wasn’t fair. It was more than just unfair — it was despicable. The whole thing; the pomp and circumstance, the tradition, and underscoring it all that finality behind it. The inevitability of it all.
I didn’t want this. I never wanted this.
Admittedly, it was a little late in the day for such thoughts. The blood, now at last slowing to the oozing whose absence I had lamented earlier, was surely running out. I could sense it spider-webbing in intricate patterns around me, driven by chaos theory and my slowing heart.
Now was when I decided that I’d had enough. That I wanted to break this ridiculous cycle. I wanted to crash this system that seemed unshakeable.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
There’s a lot that comes before this…