I’m a blood connoisseur. I can’t decide if that’s a distinction or a detraction. I see drops of it on the pavement and I have to follow it to its conclusion. It always tells a story. Small slightly irregular drops with radial spatter still visible on the sidewalk that starts from the door of a dive bar and disappears somewhere three blocks away says bar fight. But something like this, this is an EVENT. Someone tried to obscure quite a pool of it with chalky shit. I cannot pass. I have to consider the possibilities. Stabbing? Spontaneous corner birth? Not enough for a shooting, probably. There aren’t many pleasant reasons that much blood can spill. My son spills that much blood with a single bloody nose but that’s because he doesn’t move and through familiarity and exhaustion from dealing with epic nosebleeds he doesn’t expend much effort bothering to staunch the flow. A normal person wouldn’t stand on a street corner and let the pints drop.
I know the color of fresh blood in all its various mineral strengths. I know the color of hour old blood. I know what week old blood looks like. I know the color of archival blood. I know what it looks like 25 years after it’s been drawn across watercolor paper, across playing cards, and soaked into silk fiber. I know what it tastes like in the air when a pint of it has coagulated on a hard wood floor and caught thickly in a tub drain. I know what it tastes like in the late afternoon. I know what it tastes like as the punctuation for poetry penned at 3am in San Francisco through a pack of aggressively smoked cigarettes. I know what it tastes like in the back of the throat at dawn.