Like a moat, your fairly defined and lush hairs circumnavigate the anterior of my head. That’s the rub. You seem to be holding position presuming that reinforcements are forthcoming. Yet you’ve failed to see that the top of my head — the crown? It’s all patchy and way passed thinning. But you, you goddamn hairline, you won’t recede. Your prickly follicles remain like dedicated Japanese soldiers disbelieving the war has been lost.

I’ve kept it short, shaved, for three years now. But I’ve tired of the maintenance. The shaved head is the toupee of my generation. Plus, a shaved head gets really cold in winter and autumn and my hats no longer fit snuggly. I can’t afford to buy all new hats, so you’ve probably noticed I’m letting the stubble grow back beyond stubble, back into thick hair on the sides, and chemotherapic patches of sad nostalgia up top.

And that’s your cue, hairline. I’m ready. I’m ready to go completely bald. Your work here, while valued and underrated I’m sure, is complete. I’m asking you to step down. Please. Come on. We look silly like this.

The universe and Jesus and whatever elements care for stillborn babies and dumb people, protons, I think, will look after us too. Give in, friend. Release. It’s my choice. It’s my decision. And I’m ready. I’m ready to go completely bald now.

James F. Ward