I lie in suspended animation, waiting for the call. I am in limbo, static, a sleeper, inactive. My life span is limited, I have always known that, yet this does not deter me from my desire, the burning wish to accomplish something greater than who I am.
And then one day, it happens. I watch from afar as I am hoisted up into the air. I am anonymous, one of very many, yet I watch with bated breath as I anticipate what is about to happen. There are others around me, and I sense the repressed excitement flowing through them too.
I stare at the transparent bags near me, they contain clear liquids, and I glance away impatiently, waiting for what will be.
It seems to take forever, but then I feel myself being drawn through a narrow exit, and I travel along at a sedate pace. My resolve is firm, I know what it is that I must do, and I look forward to arriving at my destination.
I become aware of a rhythmic beat, a tribal pounding that seems a bit laboured, as though the drummer is struggling to cope under a great strain. And then I am there. Caught up in a stream, and rushing along, bearing my precious cargo. I go past stricken comrades, they are stiff and immobile. They try to move, to join the stream, but they are covered in a sticky substance, and end up being clogged up, clumped together. I am flexible. almost elastic, and can easily alter my form to get through even the narrowest openings.
At the right moment, I lay down my life-giving shipment, and then race away to a new destination, this time bearing a different load. And so it goes on, a never-ending cycle. The rhythm of the beat gradually gets into sync, the pressure is eased.
I know my life span is limited. 120 days. But while I am here, I will do good, and be a bearer of life, of oxygen.
I am a red blood cell.