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  • Writer's pictureCarsten Sprotte

Love in the blood

It was a warm day in May with its maddening sweet air...

The diagnosis was certain: an acute case of erostitis, falling in love being its obvious cause. During that particular week the symptoms worsened. I was suffering from an excess of vitality. I felt plugged into some invisible source of energy and my body wasn’t prepared for such a strong electrical current. The music in my head wouldn’t stop a single instant. Like a mother whose breasts burgeon with milk,

I had to get up at night to release an excess of sentiment. I was flooded with words of love and couldn’t stop them from flowing.

By Thursday, the day I received the news that I was being offered a dream job, my

condition had taken a serious turn. I began to fear that such dangerous levels of vitality might do me in. To make matters worse, it was a warm day in May with its maddening sweet air. This was Paris where love seemed to be everywhere.

I started looking for a remedy, or at least a relief. Luckily, I passed by the Place de la

Bastille that day where I noticed a temporary blood donor tent had been set up, there at the far end of one of Paris’ largest open-air markets. After loading their shopping trolleys with seasonal delights--strawberries les gariguettes, green asparagus, fresh halibut, and peonies-- it was hoped that someone might return some of the abundance they enjoyed.

Never had I felt such an imperious impulse to give my blood!

A nurse welcomed me and thanked me:

“You know, we were hoping for forty donors by this hour, and we’ve only had 18.”

So I replied:

“In that case, take a double amount from me. I feel like I have way too much at the moment and it’s bursting from my veins! On top of that, my blood type is A negative. It’s rare, so make the most of it!”

Could she have believed me? I reclined, marveling at the intense bordeaux flowing out of

my veins through the plastic tube. What beautiful blood! This was the precious liquid that would restore life to someone unknown to me. I thought of the words of Jesus: drink, for this is my blood. I pondered how this little excess of mine could potentially have such great and unpredictable consequences in the lives of other people. It lasted a while, and towards the end I felt dazed and content. When it was finished, I briskly got up, expecting nothing had changed. The tide suddenly pulled back inside me. I tried to warn the nurses. 

Je me sens un peu…”.

They said I collapsed. What I remember next was the nurse’s little slaps on my face.

“Qu’est-ce qui vous arrive, Monsieur ?”  The question seemed to reach me from another realm.

“What has happened to me?” I echoed.

Vous êtes tombé dans les pommes, ” she replied, surrounded by the medical staff looking 

vaguely concerned.

“It’s the first time this has ever happened to me. Well, the coming around part at least. Isn’t that extraordinary? I can’t wait to try that again sometime!” I wink.

“It’s a good thing you didn’t fall backward on your head!” another nurse offered.

“Can you get up now?”

“Even if I couldn’t get up, would it not be a marvelous day to leave one’s life behind?”

I replied with a grand smile, but that one didn’t go over so well. Those were the days when I was still learning to synchronize my humor with the French.

Whatever the future holds, she for whom such love entered my blood will remain for me the accomplishment of that young man’s dream. And if it were all only a dream, I would still declare, from that bed from which I no longer rise, that I truly did live that dream.


Excerpt from EXQUISITE: Facets of my France, by Carsten Sprotte


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