My (Bald, Parasitic) Ex Is Everywhere

By YourTango

My (Bald, Parasitic) Ex Is Everywhere
After a breakup comes the hallucinatory period when we see him everywhere.

YAKOV : Russian form of "Jacob", meaning "supplanter"

to replace, to take the place of, to supersede
to uproot, to remove violently*


Madonna, Cher, Pocohontas, Yakov. One sobriquet alone suffices to conjure up a unique personality, one so original, that any additional information would only dilute its power.

Imagine, if you will, either Matt Dillon, or Mark Messier of the New York Rangers, depending on who you think is cuter. Now create a more compact version with a Russian accent, a Macintosh computer, and a pack of Marlboro Lights. Dress him in a black T-shirt, black Levi's, and black Converse All-Stars. Good. Now (this is the most important part) shave his head completely bald.

You now have a picture of Yakov. But perhaps not only of Yakov.

We entered into a May-December relationship. I played the part of a bleak December and he was a lovely May morning. Among other disparities, there was the trichophobia.

Trichophobia is a fear of hair. This malady is distinguished by a fear of lint, fuzz, towels, eyelashes, and aggressive behavior toward felines. I gave the cats to my ex-husband, moved all of my clothing into the living room and prepared for cohabitation.

{C}We are both graphic designers. Well, I was one before Yakov undid me. The disparity in our personal net worth (due, no doubt, to mere differences of age, experience, intelligence and talent) was such that I decided, albeit subconsciously, to devote the twelve hours a day that I had selfishly reserved for my own career entirely to Yakov's. This included a campaign of public relations that would make Michael Ovitz look like a Vermont housewife, and resulted in several magazine articles, a major book deal, and an impressive client roster that oddly resembled my own.

At one juncture, I was concerned that lending him two thousand dollars to start his art magazine, pay his rent, and things like that might "damage our relationship" if this debt went unpaid. My then-psychiatrist had an interesting idea. Why not just give him the money? After a year and a half of qualified bliss, we broke up.

I had the funny feeling that he was, um, using me.

I spent that summer recuperating, and ostensibly painting, in a charming seaside community we'll call the mosquito preserve. Of my two remaining friends (those that had not been, by this time, co-opted for commercial purposes by Yakov) both remarked on my surprising and weirdly domestic variation on the artist theme. The car was painted silver, the mailbox blue, the bathroom, kitchen and front porch were likewise festooned with a daub of the original Rosenwald, but the canvases were notably empty. And I was only renting for one summer.

That autumn, back in the city, I made the mistake of attending a design show, opening on an October night. I was unaccompanied by any friend, relative, therapist or bodyguard. The show was entitled "Designers under Thirty" (I mentally added "who have been nurtured, encouraged and supported financially by broken and now-obscure dowagers of forty five").

Bravely, I approached Yakov to congratulate him on a prizewinning poster (silkscreen class, 350 dollars) depicting a lamp (from my bedroom) announcing a reading series at the coffee bar on my corner.

If you have seen All about Eve, remember the lyrics of Human League's "Don't You Want Me,"* or endured spinal cord surgery you will know the feeling. A cheerful greeting escaped his lips. Eight words: "This is my new girlfriend. Isn't she cute?"

Who was I to argue? "Why yes, she's adorable," I concurred. It was only the truth. Beside him was a diminutive Japanese nymphet, of perhaps 68 pounds. Although I clock in at twice that on a good day, I took care not to crush this delicate person while she expressed her reverence for an elder in a way that all young Japanese have been instructed. She showed respect for an ancient, moldy and decrepit oak of graphic design wisdom, i.e., me.

I managed to careen almost noiselessly to the door, narrowly escaping collision with the 614 major art directors in attendance. Little did I know that this was the beginning of what has become known as "Bald Male Pattern-ness" or "The Recurring Yakov Response."

Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to present my theory:

I would submit that New York City in general, and Lower Manhattan in particular hosts a disproportionate number of young men who prefer somber-colored clothing, an all-black costume being not at all unusual. Are we agreed? Good.

I would further postulate that one bald-headed guy dressed all in black resembles nothing so much as another bald-headed guy dressed all in black. This is the central tenet of my argument.

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