So Rob and I were walking through Target today. And I tasted metal. And it felt warm inside my mouth, and liquid, like my saliva was on overdrive.
"I think my mouth is bleeding," I said. Blood stained my teeth.
"Oh my God," I said. "My mouth is totally bleeding. Uh. Let's find some kleenex."
Rob looked alarmed. We went to the paper products aisle, but it was just toilet paper and napkins, no facial tissue. I searched the napkins, rejecting those that were printed with cute little pictures, almost grabbed a stack of plain ones, then saw the generic brand and grabbed those. I ripped the packaging open and grabbed a handful. My mouth was full. I held the napkins to my mouth and opened it, and blood soaked them. I grabbed another handful and spat more blood into them.
"What's happening?" Rob was looking panicked. "Is this blood coming from your mouth, or coming from inside you? Are you feeling okay?"
"From my mouth," I said behind the wadded-up handful of bloody napkins. "I feel okay."
"Let's go to the pharmacist," said Rob. "Maybe they can tell us what to do."
"No, I really think I'm okay," I said, and pulled out another napkin. "I just-- oh jeez, it won't stop bleeding. Let's go to the pharmacy and we can sit there."
He picked up the basket; I hooked my finger through the hole in the napkin package, and we trotted to the bench by the pharmacy. I sat there, using napkin after napkin to soak up the blood. I tried wadding a couple up and shoving them in my mouth where I thought the bleeding was coming from, but the blood kept flowing.
"I think it's on your tongue," Rob said.
"Is it?" I scrunched up a few more and pressed them against the tip of my tongue. I moved it around in my mouth so Rob could check if blood was coming from anywhere else. Nope. It was my tongue. I hadn't bitten it or anything; it just spontaneously had begun to bleed.
I held up another napkin to catch the drool from my open mouth. We sat there for a while as I pressed on my bloody tongue and wiped up saliva dripping from my lips. But every time I took the napkin away to check, the blood started again.
I shoved a handful of napkins into my mouth, determined to at least get the rest of the shopping done. Then I noticed there was a bathroom down the hall. After trying to say "Is there someone in that bathroom?" without opening my mouth, I just went in. I threw away the twenty or so napkins I'd already soaked, then had an inspiration. I locked the door, went to the sink, and stuck out my tongue. Blood was practically streaming from it. I leaned over the sink, let the blood drip down my chin, and waited. Drip... drip... drip... The blood began to coagulate, until there was a stalactite of blood at the tip of my chin. The bleeding of my tongue began to slow, and finally stopped. I wiped off my face, rinsed the sink, scrubbed it to get all my blood out of it, and opened the door.
"Okay," I said. "Let's go."