I yawned; the sun had not come up fully yet. I thought I was the first one there but when I entered the nondescript building I saw that what I mistook for a mound of rags was actually someone who had arrived before me. The man sat up as the door closed behind me and I wondered if this had been a good idea. He then smiled and removed his headphones. “First time here?” he asked. I nodded, after which he filled me in on the process. I was broke and this was plasma ‘donation’.
My new mentor told me that he had been coming there, twice a week, for years. He told me about how it was good to get there early before the daily crowd, how the bank across the street cashed the checks we would receive, and what the procedure was like. He asked me my blood type and told me that I’d make what he did: $15 per draw. He grew silent as a business man entered and took a seat at the far end of the hall, the farthest point from the two of us. He whispered to me about the well-dressed patrons of the plasma bank, how many of them had rare blood and could make $500 for each draw. He told me about a lady whose blood was especially rare for whom the plasma bank sent a car service. He suggested I bring a portable music player to keep myself occupied for the few hours the process took; he always listened to Billy Cobham, he told me.
And then the triage desk opened and he was gone. Since he was here now, he’d probably be here in a couple days when I came back. I needed the extra scratch to make the ends meet that a minimum wage job couldn’t. I’ll see him again, I’m sure.
For today’s Daily Prompt.