Tag Archives: poverty

Selling Plasma

Not one of the TVs. The stuff that keeps the ol’ red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets from congealing together in my veins. I got paid on Thursday, but I was so backed up on bills that I thought it would be good to have one or two extra dollars in my pocket. I’d looked into selling plasma in the past and it seemed okay… a plasma center put a video online in which they had people sell it as “a nice way to relax for an hour or so” or “good time to catch up on reading.”

So, one day, I called up, it sounded like it was a slow day there, and a nice lady told me on the phone that I could be signed up and out the door in about 90 minutes or so. She told me that their hours were from 7am-7pm and that they even accepted people as late as 6pm for donations. At around 3 today, I figured it would be a good time to go check it out. I drove out there, and parked my car. The first open parking spot I saw was a convertible…

…with the back window all busted up, the ragtop all torn apart. As I walked to the car, I had a flashback to watching Harry Potter movies, and Harry’s first experiences with dementors… “it was as though all the happiness and hope in the world were suddenly gone.” There was a woman standing outside the building with a general countenance that made me feel as though she were likely to propose a fellatio for cash endeavor, a more common panhandling, a robbery, or some combination of the former in which I am serviced and then flees the scene without receiving money from me.

People sort of rushed past me to get in. The people who rushed past me, though we were in Virginia Beach, felt very Portsmouth. It’s odd. When you’re in the ghetto, everyone has this sense about them that, some might call swagger, some might call a war face… It’s this aura you sense that though things are ugly all around us, they have some sort of plan and attitude that’ll get them through this.

The plasma donation center is the exact opposite of this. When you’re in a plasma place, you can see the same emotion on every single person’s face… “I’m stuck in this room with your broke, tired hungry masses.” And the room was packed. I mean, it’s incredibly naive of me to go into a plasma business, on a Friday afternoon and think “oh gee, it’s not like I’ll be the only one who’d need money before a Friday night.” It was one of the saddest god damned sights I’ve ever seen in my life. Imagine the DMV, but every single person in the room is having such a hard time in their lives that they’ve decided they need to sell a part of their body just to make ends meet. And the room was crowded. They’d run out of chairs for people to sit on, and so there were people sitting on the floor. And people were still one-by-one coming in behind me.

It was so packed in there, that I didn’t even get a chance to sign up.

Depressing.

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