December 17, 2014 | ,

Dear University Office of Risk Management (III)

Blood_Splatter_3_by_KameleonKlik (1)
Photo Credit: “Blood Splatter 3” by KameleonKlik

Dear University Office of Risk Management (III)

You will find with this letter three vials of my blood to help with the university’s new wellness initiative. My aversion to blood made me avoid the mobile-medical-unit that visited campus last week to collect samples from employees. With that acknowledged, I understand that the blood will be used for important tests that guarantee my fitness to serve our institution. As such, I made alternative arrangements—not without hardship—to secure these samples. In fact, considerable blood was spilled during their collection. Once my family doctor brought out the needle, I began to panic. While struggling with him, I lashed out, connecting a fist with his nose and making a crimson mess of his fine, white lab coat. I also (inadvertently) bit two nurses who helped restrain me. You should know that this hemophobia of mine goes back many years to a traumatic incident involving my first dog, Racer. He would always trail mother’s heals—until that fateful afternoon when she slammed a door behind her and amputated half of his tail. There was spatter everywhere, and before I knew what had happened, I had run through it. The sight of sanguine footprints behind me sent me into a faint. I have ever since reacted badly to bloodletting. Hopefully, you now have sufficient blood from meenough so that I do not have to give any more in the near future. If obliged to do so, I might be distracted from my work: a book-length study on monstrosity, which, Derrida posits, permits us to understand conventions by transgressing them. As such, your acceptance of the enclosed samples would be most appreciated.

All best,

Dr. Noel Sloboda

Researcher in the Humanities

Encl: X3 blood samples (200 cc vials)

This piece is part of a chapbook, Risk Management Studies, from Kattywompus Press

Noel Sloboda’s work has recently appeared in Bayou, Fourteen Hills, PANK, and Salamander. He is the author of the poetry collections Shell Games (sunnyoutside, 2008) and Our Rarer Monsters (sunnyoutside, 2013) as well as several chapbooks. Sloboda has also published a book about Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein.  

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