I’d given the usual pint of blood every fifty-six days for the usual half-known reasons. It was something I’d done since high school and had forged my father’s signature over for parental permission to do so. And so long as I was nearby a local Red Cross and wasn’t sick or going to be stacking wood later in the day or conducting a symphony in the evening, I’d go. I think what I like about it was the unknown effect of doing something that’s good to do. That’s all. Once I was sent a post card that named the hospital about forty-five miles away from my house where a patient had been helped out by my unit donated, and that made me feel uneasy and squeamish. I’d rather not know if my blood saved the life of a criminal drunk behind a wheel smashed into a tree, or a little baby with a congenital heart defect under surgery. And afterwards, there were the usual snacks and donor chatter at the snack-and-chatter table where people snacked and chatted about cholesterol and their weight and about the new owners of the local meat market in town we all knew. And I didn’t say a word myself to be clever or prescient or knowing much about anything at all. I didn’t even remember to say how I’d been walking down the mountain just two days before and had crossed the path of another hiker going up who’d warned me about a rattlesnake along the trail she’d seen. And in our chatting about what to do and what not to do when faced with natural dangers or dangers in nature, she said, as for mosquitoes, “Big deal. What’s it to me to give a mosquito a drop of my blood? A little itch.” And I’d said back to her, “When that happens, I’m flying!” She laughed, and wandered on. “Happy descent!” she hollered over her shoulder. “Happy ascent!” I hollered back.