26 November 2012
About a month ago, I came home and found mysterious blood trails around my home. I mapped them out, studied them, and kept trying to recreate the scene. The scene confounded me. I did not assume that it was blood. There was no physical evidence of painting or use of chemicals. After a long look, blood was the only thing that made sense. Whatever it was, a human or humans put it there. A child did not do it. Some finger marks were far too high for my 4-year-old neighbor who runs out to greet me, and she is the only child who is ever here.
Shoe marks were too large for the girl. A palm mark on the ground was man-sized. I checked that she was okay, and her father helped me search. It was clear that someone had sat in the blood to rest, just feet from my door. In context, none of this made a lick of sense.
There was no sign of blood near the doors or the windows, but there were some tiny splatters on the second floor, as if a giraffe had done it, or someone had swung a blade. If there was a machete fight, my neighbors would have seen it, and there should be some flesh or clothes lying around. It was confusing.
The neighbors said that they saw nothing, and they were equally confounded. I cast about for hours trying to pick up the trail in the general area. You cannot just turn off blood like that. I could sense that whomever did it lingered, which made no sense. Then they apparently vanished in a vehicle, which also made no sense. Nobody could come in without being seen. Over and over I walked the tracks and I just could not figure it out.
I thought that maybe someone working on the banana trees hurt themselves, but this was a lot of blood for one person to spill, and the patterns did not make sense. Why would they bleed so heavily and hang around without telling anyone? Was it a criminal? The mystery remained.
So I came home an hour ago (Sunday), and there were new blood trails. Many of them. I cast about my home every day, so I knew that they were not there yesterday. I did not see them this morning. Again, I started photographing and mapping the blood spatter, and this time I was going to call the police.
Before I did that, I did what you should always do at a time like this, which is to find the oldest person that you can find, and ask them. So I asked an elderly woman, she looked at the blood trails, and she laughed.
She walked back to her home, and she came out with a big knife. She said, “It is banana blood!” None of my other neighbors knew it. They are all city slickers, not farmers.
She cut a banana tree and she showed me the clear blood, and then she rubbed some onto the concrete, saying it will disappear now, but you will see it look like blood tomorrow. Sure enough, it disappeared. By the next morning, it began to appear brown. (Tonight it is brown, about 30 hours later.)
This explains why I did not see it in the morning. She told me that our neighbors were cutting banana leaves for the Loi Krathong festival.
She laughed hard at me and asked me if I felt better.
I will buy her a small gift, because she taught me something about tracking.