Tonight, on the D train, I think I saw the future of my hairline – and it chilled me to the scalp. I've been on baldness alert since I was nineteen, and I became convinced I was losing all my hair. I would sometimes drop whatever it was I was doing, and run into the dorm bathroom to check my hairline for recession progress.
To pre-emptively answer your question, no, I wasn't going bald at all. I had a head of thick, luxurious, mink-quality hair. And I know my incessant discussion of the matter generated a tremendous amount of resentment from some of my more obviously bald peers – I was the male equivalent of the skinny girl complaining to a room full of heavyset women that, no, she won't have any cream in her coffee because she recently discovered she no longer fits into her size 2 jeans. But all I could think about was losing it. I would beg people to examine my forehead for signs of exposure. In fact, after my senior year of college I started wearing my hair cropped extremely short, so I wouldn't touch it and endanger my hairline by weakening the roots with each nervous tug. (Ever since I started growing out my hair again, that nervous habit has re-established itself and my old concerns have been stoked and their vigorous flame renewed.)
I always expected that if I were to go bald it would not be in a cool twin-peaks of recession manner befitting of royalty. No, I would go full-on Jew Bald™. A straight hairline retreating from my brow, like Art Garfunkel. A receding tide of curls that cannot even be covered up with a buzz cut, for a buzz cut requires some semblance of hairline with patches of male pattern baldness.. A curse upon a curse
Tonight, I realized for the first time in a long time, that I am actually, REALISTICALLY in danger of having this happen. I was in a men's bathroom at a movie theater and saw that my forehead is enjoying a greater prominence than ever before. I felt a sick panic set in. There's not much I can do except wait it out, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I didn't spend the rest of my evening catching peripheral glimpses of my bald bald bald fat bald bald head.
Then, on the subway, I was distracted by the loud chatter of a nerdy male voice behind me. I turned to look and it was a man in his early 40s, dressed in a frumpy suit, chatting amiably with a woman. His hair, which was rust with silver, was like a great pubic wig, casually tipped back on his head. "This is what I'm going to look like in six weeks," I thought. I wonder, if I had killed him, would that have cut the bloodline and broken the curse? Are vampire rules applicable to baldness? Surely there is a web site devoted to this.