I was in the doctor’s office with all veins blown out from blood tests. My veins are so small and delicate they have to use needles intended for babies, doctor said. They accidentally use these same needles on the man sitting beside me, but it bends before it can even break a vein. “These needles are too small,” the doctor explains to him. “You are an adult with normal sized veins,” not a baby.
When the needle was finally in me, the blood started overflowing in tiny amounts over several hours and my doctor got some on his white coat. Over the three hours I was sitting there, there were little bits of gauze next to me with my blood on them and no one threw them away. They brought me chicken and rice after it was all over and I sat there eating, done with my appointment but still sitting in the office, teething at a chicken bone which I couldn’t stop picturing as anatomy and not food, similar to my bloodless veins, an arm that would not even be appetizing to prey. I spit out a piece of cartilage and walked out the door without saying goodbye. My body, even on the external level, rejects what it needs. Leave me alone it begs me, and cries for help as another vein ruptures and bruises.
My heart rate was 117 beats per minute and by the time I left it was 66, which has something to do with being nervous on entering a room but looks suspiciously like a symptom of heart failure. I was thinking about this on the subway because my heart beat was fast again and I had three bandaids on my arm like three little open holes in my body from three failed attempts of an infusion. We only have a few openings on our bodies and prefer them filled—mouths for eating, genitals for fucking, ears for music—what if these were voids too.
The next morning they were gone, with only little blue bruises signifying three damaged veins, much like other things.
Dilara O'Neil lives in Brooklyn and is currently pursuing an MA in Liberal Studies at The New School. Her work has appeared in Eleven and a Half and The New School Free Press. She tweets @lamegirl1234.