The day Ray broke up with her was the day Lisa cut off her hair, all of it, with the shears she kept in her tiny kitchen. She cut without a mirror, just kept going until there was nothing left for the scissors to get a purchase on and the brown kitchen floor was scattered with snakes of black hair. She went into the bathroom to see what she’d accomplished. The uneven dark brush of a crew cut wasn’t enough. She took Ray’s razor and shaved her scalp until her hair was nothing but a shadow and his razor was ruined.

And then, since there was hair all over the apartment and the next step would be to weepingly clean it up, she sat down at her easel and started a new self-portrait to add to the dozens already leaning against the walls of her microscopic Baltimore apartment. She put on one of his suit jackets and included that in the picture. She didn’t look a thing like him; he was tall and blond, she was short and, as he had said once, swarthy—and that was exactly how she painted herself. Bald and swarthy, enveloped in the baggy jacket.

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