Sin… all the pretty colours…

Do you know how many shades of red blood comes in? You’d think it was just the one. Blood is blood, right? A touch of the claret, pumping its way around your body, supplying oxygen to all the little nooks and crannies. It’s all the same to you, me and the postman, isn’t it? Of course, it has all the bits that the rhesus monkeys were famous for – the pluses and minuses and the like. But you grab a wadge of plasma, mix in a shot of red and white cells and a couple of drops of platelets, give it a good Tom Cruise shake, and there you have it.

Blood.

So it shouldn’t, you’d think, be any other colour than red, should it? And no shade other than… I suppose… blood red?

You’d be wrong. As would I. Me, wrong? It had to happen sooner or later.

When everything is white, and only one shade – glaring – you start to notice colours more. A scuff here, a vomit stain there. Shades of black, hints of yellow and green. And blood? You’d think they’d prefer to keep the place neat and tidy, wouldn’t you. Minimise mess and reduce risk. Bodily fluids are notoriously painful to clean up – especially if they’re fluids from your own body, as the slap on the head and the poke with the mop in your ribs as you’re made to clean it up are painful indeed. I think they enjoy it. They don’t mind if someone pukes a flat, grey slop of part-digested lunch, or urinates a sickly yellow stream down their leg from the window to the seating rows. They have a reason to pinch, punch, first of the month you. An excuse to push, pull, pirouette you. And dozey-do your pardners.

They, the orderlies, like their little games. They enjoyed a daily fix of sadistic pleasure gained, usually, from the pain or humiliation of a patient. Not all of them, of course. Jezzer Jeremy didn’t partake in the fun and he wasn’t the only one. But the desires of the few outweighed the objections of the many – especially if that few were big or slimy or just a plain bully.

So a slip of snot, a puddle of vomit or a stream of urine. There was no difference. You paid the same price. And if you didn’t do a good job of clearing up your mess – which is difficult with their drugs coursing through your body like an Han Solo running from Imperial forces, ready to warp into hyperdrive and take out the Death Star that is the dark side of your mind – the bits that make you weave on the wrong side of the cloth.

The price being, of course, an education into the myriad, rainbow colours of blood. Where to find said magical liquid? Well, you have a plentiful supply there inside you. Let’s spill a little and take a peek, shall we?

Do you know how many shades of red blood comes in? You’d think it was just the one.

You’d be wrong.

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