Ronald’s Headache, A Poem by Chris Russell

My head was hurting again. Blood was coming through the pores on my forehead. There was a knock on the door. I opened it. A man I’d never seen before smiled at me. “How’s that head of yours doing, Ronald?” he said. “It hurts. I’m sorry, do I know you?” I said. “You do, yes, but that’s of no consequence now. Does it hurt when the blood comes through your forehead like that?” He said. “No, I don’t even really feel it. Way deep in behind my eyes is where it hurts,” I said. “Like behind your retina?” He said. “I’m not exactly sure where the retina is located, or if the swelling might have started somewhere else and gradually moved into the retinal area,” I said. “So you don’t really know,” he said. “No, I guess I don’t,” I said. He pulled out a hammer and hit me in the temple with it. Blood began gushing out. “Why did you do that?” I said. “Sometimes, you have to make a hole in an otherwise perfectly acceptable area in order to draw pressure away from the more unacceptable one,” he said. “Is that a piece of my skull on the carpet?” I said. “You’re not telling me you don’t know your own skull are you?” he said. “I haven’t ever seen my skull close up,” I said. “So, you’ve seen it from far away, then,” he said. I was getting tired of his deconstructions. I really must be getting back to bed,” I said. “Thanks for being concerned.” I started to shut the door, but he put his foot in it. “You’re not getting rid of me that easy,” he said. “Would you please remove your foot from the door?” I said. “I’ll take it out a little bit. But I’m leaving a little of the toe in there,” he said.

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