Pretty

Whatever I do, I like to do prettily. My dad says, “If you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all.” I say, “If you’re not going to do it prettily, don’t do it at all.” You’d be amazed at the activities I manage to perform prettily. You have never seen someone scrub grout with more panache or change a tire with more élan.
“That’s absolute tommyrot,” you’re thinking. I know.
And you know what? You’re right. You see, I don’t scrub grout (uhh, manicure) and I don’t have a car (uhh, city). But I assure you that if I did grout-scrub or tire-change, I’d do so all fresh as a daisy, without a hair out of place, and while smiling prettily. (I would not, however, whistle. Whistling is right up there with gum-chewing and public nose-blowing and nail-clipping insofar as unacceptable behavior is concerned.)
Today at the gym, when I was on the second “leg” of my cardio-a-gogo — running for a joyous hour after riding the bike for an equal amount of time — I banged the back of my left hand, just above the wrist, on the tray that held my mp3 player. I didn’t think much of it until I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a flash of red. Where was that stunning sanguine streak coming from, I wondered. And then I looked down and saw rivulets of the prettiest blood you’d ever want to see, just streaming down my hand. I gasped, not out of shock, but at the sheer beauty.
I did not want to interrupt my run (come on, I was at the 51-minute mark!), so I did what any red-blooded American would do: I sucked my own blood. Which only made it bleed more. So I sucked again. (This is fast approaching Penthouse Forum, isn’t it. Oh yesss.) And, yes, it bled more. After about a dozen more sucks, I pressed my right forefinger over the scrape to impede the bleeding, which helped only as long as I left the finger there.
I covered my left hand with my right and continued running. I only removed the hand long enough to scratch my lip, but that was long enough to see that underneath my hand was a bit of a mess. Still, I had only three minutes to go, so I pressed on. Prettily.
At long last, my run came to an end, and I got off the treadmill. I went into the restroom to perform surgery on my gaping wound. I looked in the mirror. And there, staring back at me, was a fingertip-sized smudge of blood, on and above my right upper lip. I looked positively savage.
But savages are pretty, aren’t they?
P.S.  If I drink my own blood, does that make me non-vegetarian?