Two seconds to blood

Jul 4, 2012

At work today, I made my way to the basement of a building to meet with one of our star physician-scientists.

I walked down a hall, then through a doorway, and as I passed through that, a major knuckle on my right hand glanced against the doorframe. I looked down to see a white indentation, and was aware of a warning thought moving from one part of my brain to another.

‘That could become a bloody mess,’ neuron passed to neuron.

A few steps later, I looked down to see a growing bead of bright red blood forming on the knuckle.

‘I told you so.’

I was early to the meeting, so I asked a woman in the office for a bandage.

Later, thinking about the out-of-body experience of observing a thought brought on by an injury to my hand, I remembered the feeling of the serrated knife that neaty sliced my finger (right hand, little finger, minor knuckle) one day during my Peace Corps service.

That cut felt much different than other cuts I’d had from straight knives. For a brief moment if felt, well, good. Two seconds later, I was hopping in pain, and fretting that I’d better clean it fast and well or I’d have another case of blood poisoning to add to my history of infections.

Anton Zuiker

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