May 3rd, 2006



When I was little I used to get nosebleeds a lot--so often, in fact, that one of the things my best friend Vikram suggested I bring to Taiwan when I moved away was a gallon of my own blood. Whenever it happened I would go to the school nurse, dripping baseball-sized puddles of blood across the floor, and she would shove a cotton plug up my nostril. After a few minutes the blood would clot, she'd remove the plug (now thoroughly bloodied), and I'd return to class as if nothing had happened.

Not until now did I realize that the cotton plugs she used were tampons.