Blood dripping onto a marble floor has a unique sound. The noise is lighter and has a gentler sensation than water. Drops of water “thud” flatly when they hit the floor; blood has more of a high-pitched ring to it, making a sound like tiny crystals breaking as they hit the bottom of a well, far off in the distance. And it looks different, too. Aside from the color, of course. Have you noticed that blood actually looks thinner than water? Really. When it drips onto the floor, or into the sink if you’re lucky, it splashes in much wider rings than water. Instead of one drop breaking into a few, or even a few dozen, smaller droplets like water, a drop of blood breaks apart on impact, bursting into a mist of tiny droplets, far smaller than droplets of water.
I would not have known this, had it not been for the razor blade that got caught in Jeremiah’s toothbrush.
Jeremiah accidentally knocked his dopp-kit to the floor just as Canyon was trying to step around him to get his watch off the counter. Canyon was first to shower and shave that morning; he had hurried to get out so the rest of us could get ready to go, but he left his watch. And Jeremiah’s elbow knocked the dopp kit off just as Canyon stepped in. The Mach III razor was in the dopp kit, along with Jeremiah’s toothbrush. Canyon’s heel came down on the business end of the razor, shattering the plastic case and sending one of the blades between the rows of bristles on Jeremiah’s toothbrush.
We heard the crunch of Canyon’s heel on plastic, but we didn’t see what took place inside the dopp kit. It wasn’t until Jeremiah started to brush his teeth that the results of the misstep began to show themselves. Of course, it wasn’t until much later that we figured out what had happened. In the meantime, we learned the sound of blood is different than the sound of water. At least on marble.
Three of us shared the motel room and its one bathroom. Canyon and Jeremiah slept on the two double beds and I got the fold-out sofa. The place had at one time been a lot more upscale. The marble in the bathroom was the most obvious evidence the motel had seen far better days, but there were other signs, too. The lobby. The restaurant. The now run-down gardens. We stayed there because it was cheap and because we had to get out to the job site before 7:00 a.m.; it was close, a straight-shot to the rig.