The Diagnostic Artifact Recognizes Itself and Decides Nietzsche Was Onto Something

While scratching an itch in a budget meeting I find under my skin something glowing like a bright bronze idol.
Being a prospector of some repute, I excuse myself to the 8th floor restroom.
Cinnafresh air welcomes me and the far stall waits unoccupied.
Starting at my fingernail, I carefully peel my skin away; thin, pale strip after thin, pale strip, which I pile into the corner behind the toilet.
It takes some time and when I’ve finished with my left arm, I pause to examine my limb under the white fluorescents – something of value and long-hidden indeed.
I continue in this manner for hours and hours
 listening
    to the clickclackclick
 of hard plastic shoe heels
    and the zooooop
  of slippery zippers
and flush
  after flush
    after flush.
I peel.
I pile.
Until the 5 o’clock bell sounds, I peel and pile.
My co-workers rush home and the halls echo an eerie absent nothing.
My skin is a mound of strips piled higher than the toilet seat.
Is it still me sitting there in the quiet hours after work, my body something else and my face surely peeled away?
I wrangle open the lock, slowed by the texture of my own hands, and I walk on aged bronzed tiptoes to a mirror placed above three sinks.
I cannot stare for long, those eyes watching from unknown sockets, thin, ornamental fingertips tracing my new, ancient jawline.
The halls reverberate my heavy steps.
I leave my work bags in my cubicle and take the elevator down to the lobby.
You should have seen the look on the security guards’ faces as I walked out those revolving doors.

The Diagnostic Artifact Recognizes Itself and Decides Nietzsche Was Onto Something

Sock it to me

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