bought and paid for

When I discovered I could buy things with my blood, I was ecstatic. I could go about my normal life and every so often go to the store and have them draw blood and take whatever I wanted. The blood would even grow back or whatever the term is for that. It was an amazing deal. My friend told me he didn't like the woozy feeling after from getting blood drawn, but I put up with it. I even started to like it after a while--it was euphoric, and I didn't believe them when they said what was just because of the blood loss.

It was fine until I started overextending.

I used to want less--that old Buddhist spell that old man taught me one day that he said would give me everything I wanted. But then I had access to more, and I'd spend the nights massaging the spot where the needle had gone in and thinking of what else I could get. I started wanting more instead of less.

Easy access to things made me start coming to expect them instead of think of them as nice luxuries, and soon I got impatient. I'd go in before I'd fully recovered and ask for more, and of course they'd take another vial and send me on my way, pale and shaky, but feeling so much more alive for it. I ignored sincere expressions of concern--what did they know anyway?--and went to bed early, thinking of how much happier I'd be when I had the next purchase, and the next, and the next.

Then one day I collapsed on the way home, and my purchase was gone when I came to. There were paramedics there, asking what happened, and I just kept asking about whatever it was--I don't even remember now. They took me in. They looked after me. I told them the story and they said I couldn't do it anymore, and I just cried until I was asleep again.

The next morning a nice man in scrubs said, "You'll be all right," and they sent me home to a house that felt so empty.

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