This is a short and sweet one that I expect has been experienced by many to some degree.
I loved marching band. I played alto saxophone and sat first chair for 3 years running. I had the baddest roll step this side of the 50 yard line. Band was loud, athletic, communal, and disciplined and I loved it!
Our band was in the middle of the road as far as skill. We were thrilled just to make it to state competitions. A show band, we marched the same show game after game trying to get it to look just right. We had a practice field behind the high school so we could march while still on school grounds and on Wednesday nights, there would be an extra 2-3 hours of practice at the football stadium. Our director would sit way up in the stands with a bullhorn so he could see our formations.
One Wednesday evening, we're practicing a particular routine which involved the flags passing through the saxophone line. Wouldn't you know it? I get whacked in the face. Not being the kind of person to make a scene, I shock it off and kept on marching. In my mind I'm saying, "Welp, that'll be a fat lip before the end of the night."
We reset the formation and one of my fellow band members says to me, "Amanda! You're gushing!"
"There's blood all over your face!"
I place a palm to my lip, pull it away, and sure enough there's a respectably sized red pool! For those that don't play an instrument, you may be thinking "how could you possibly not notice the feeling of blood?" I assure you, you wouldn't have noticed either. I was sweaty from marching and my mouth was spitty from playing. It's surprisingly easy to overlook.
Well, the stadium restrooms are locked up so I can't go there to clean up and I don't have any tissues on me, and I was NOT about to walk around tapping everyone on the shoulder looking for a couple of napkins because how embarrassing would THAT be? So I start climbing the many many stairs to my director.
"Do you have something I can clean up with?" I say.
He looks at me for a moment and then does a small double take. He lifts up his bullhorn and....
"Does anyone have any tissues?"