Sunday, February 26, 2012

In Memory Of Blood

  “I remember the pattern for that day, the day she broke up with me, and I remember how it looked like a pony’s head, and it seemed to be reaching out further than it ever had before, right before she broke up with me, and rode away with my heart bleeding on the floor just like the pattern before me.” -Unknown High School Student circa 2022

I remember blood. That’s something I would remember, and as I write this I wonder why I would remember blood. Is it a natural thing for me to remember? Sharks can pick up the faintest traces of blood from miles away. A billion million scents in the ocean and they brains which are four hundred million years old remembers blood. There is something in our blood when it comes to blood. Our recent cultural fascination with vampires, both good and evil, centers on beings who consume blood. When Charles Manson bent his will towards the final destruction on civilization he had the words written in the blood of those murdered.
Car crashes are a good place to start if you want to understand the volume of blood the living possess.  A gallon of blood, more or less, for each person, which is worth about twenty-two miles a gallon in gasoline on average for a pick-up truck, and that is all we have.  Maybe High Schools should take a gallon milk jug and fill it up with red water then poke it with a pencil. The time it takes for the jug to empty is how long it takes a life to disappear forever when there is a bullet hole in the wrong place or a car crash bad enough. But then again, life can be snuff out as quickly as a candle in either case.

But the gallon of red water on the floor of the gym…

The blood puddle is quite large is it not? The liquid in the middle becomes static while easing the outer rim towards a lower center of gravity. The edges reach for the center of the earth they will never obtain in their current form. Were this blood, all the hopes and dreams of its creator would be gone now, and the liquid slowly becoming an odd solid. The Creator Of Blood, a solid container for the liquid no more, would return to the earth, mastering the containment and the fluid process of circulation no more. Our blood puddle in the middle of the gym floor lies in mute testimony of a life ended. There is a level of thickness, a certain degree of spread, a certain pattern, and a final state for our puddle just as there is for each human life. Our admiration for life is capricious and arbitrary. Were we to admire the blood puddle on the floor of the gym it would be in the same sense we see what we do in a Rorschach test. Line up a hundred High School students to view the puddle and you might get a feeling for what they are thinking, but what if you did this for every class of students, every day, for a hundred years? Would some patterns be more memorable? Would there be some sort of culture developed around the shape of the blood puddle? Would students lie to one another as to what they had seen? Would some patterns be given names and other seen as signs of some sort? In the Teacher’s Lounge would they say to one another, “I could tell by the pattern this was going to be a weird day, couldn’t you?”

There would be that day, the first time a student took out a cell phone and snapped a photo, and made a tee shirt out of it, and there would be memorable patterns from memorable days. The dead the school principal was found dead in his home, a more and a bottle of pills by his side, would be immortalized by the pattern that spread out on the gym floor, and some would say it was a fitting memorial, how the liquid flowed that day, and how he would have wanted that sort of pattern. An art student would repaint the pattern and it would be hung on the library wall and in that world, where that sort of thing happened each and every morning, witnessed by all, it would make perfect sense that this would be a way to honor someone.

As odd as this all sounds we create for ourselves and others patterns out of a lot less and our own rituals make as little sense as this one when it gets all down to it, and it does. Look at the Catholic ritual of drinking blood and eating flesh, yes, I am well aware it’s symbolic but so is the blood puddle, remember? I’m speaking here for symbolism. What else is there to speak of if we are to speak of such things?  

But sharks are not symbolic creatures. They care not at all for patterns, except, perhaps those magnetic patterns the earth itself forms, and those fields generated by creatures whose blood the shark has detected. Ah, patterns again! Are we subconsciously seeking patterns and blood when we watch some inane movie in which the living fall in love with the dead who feed off the living who love them? Suddenly, when put in this context, the blood puddle makes more sense than some of our popular culture. Again, patterns form because we form them, and we have to ask if we seek those patterns we create because we have lost the ability to see those nature has created for our survival?

The time we once spent surviving we now spend expending time doing things, like writing, which are not matters of survival. Or do I have it all wrong, once more, and we are evolving to see those patterns that exist in the universe outside the drive for food and flight?

In what I write do you see a pattern?

Take Care,


  1. We are creatures who not only seek rituals and patterns, but create them. For comfort? Safety? Shared vision? A sense we are a whole instead of an individual? That our blood pattern isn't simply a cosmic joke or splatter, but part of an overall plan?

    The scent of blood is primal. Our need to be connected is primal. The internet is our new bloodline/timeline. I see the pattern.

    1. I need to turn this into a short story, I see that now.

  2. We instinctively check for expected patterns on familiar turf. They’re shorthand reassurance things are cool. Especially when the world around us is changing in strange directions, at an uncomfortable rate. On new turf, we seek old patterns for comfort, and new patterns for clues.

    After a thousand days of red water, substitute a gallon of real blood. Blood is unique and unmistakable. Like you said, the bigger the puddle, the less likely there’s a survivor.

    1. I was thinking of using real blood in the fiction just for that reason, Bruce.

  3. LMFAO! Are you fucking kidding?! Only a true, egotistical yank could come out with such sickeningly self-absorbed drivel. How DARE you trivialise 'survival'- like it has less ''existential significance'' than the navel-gazing, arrogant middle class. In my experience, the only people who really DO grasp your pathetic grappling for the meaning of life is the working class. They actually experience life, whilst you pretend to be a hard-done-by artist. I am laughing so hard I think I am going to barf! :-O

    1. I am working class. I was in bridge construction for nearly 19 years. I worked mostly manual labor until I was in my 30's. I'm not quite certain if that qualifies me as working class but it will have to do.

      Okay, so you explain it to me.

      What am I missing here? Clearly you have an opinion, don't you, I mean, other than you do not like mine?

    2. Mike, I'm pretty sure you understand survival, whareas most people in the "first world" confuse with it with the daily struggle of flat tires and high wireless bills.

  4. I'm just reading this now, and the first thing that hits me is how, although it's after the fact, what came to my mind was the shooting in Ohio...which happened on Monday, and of course, you posted this on Sunday. Why does that matter? Maye it doesn't, but I find it intriguing that you wrote about a high school student talking about being broken up with my his girlfriend..somewhere I heard or read yesterday that the kid who did the shooting had an ex-girlfriend who was dating one of the guys shot.

    Is there a connection...a premonition on your part that came through with your writing? Possibly. Who knows, but I do subscribe to the notion of predictive linguistics on the web and read a couple of blog, one in particular that often makes fairly accurate predictions.

    But see, that's a computer, a web bot program crawling through the intricate wireless highways of the internet picking up on language being used...a premonition is more ethereal, a product of the human brain in a way...just thought I'd throw that out there :)

    All that aside, the other thing that strikes me about this piece and something I don't think I've ever told you about your writing is this: it has a real stream of consciousness feel to i. Have you ever read Joseph Conrad, his works are the ones I read in this genre. Sometimes your writing style, as in this piece, really reminds me of his work: Heart of Darkness. The internal, eternal search for truth within our minds and hearts.
    Oh and who the hell is Meg77 and what is her problem...geez!

    1. Believe it or not, Rose, I have been having many premonitions lately but I didn't see a connection between this and the shooting.

      I was thinking of what would happen to Elbow's son's dog if something happen to the son, and Elbow called me to tell me she was thinking about adopting that dog because her son has so little time to spend with the dog.

      It has been very weird as of late.