In the search and subsequent exposure of the infected, lead pencils were sharpened to razorpoints and distributed to available hands. Rubber gloves were administered to all in attendance, though only the nurses themselves would be inspecting for evidence of lice infestation. It was a show, to be sure. The white rubber gloves made for a performance. Grimaces or blank stares were employed. I want you troubled, if not just plain hurt, these stares implied. The nurses, gloved up and pricking their sleek tongues with sharpened pencils, they hovered greedily over the frightened parade, murmuring slight prayers of infection to fulfill legitimate desires of progress and promotion. I sat down in the chair, queasily off balance, but once making eye contact with the nurse I felt both enamored and proprietary … I considered it my chair, and her my nurse. My head screamed, my body shook. Nothing in my life had meant much until today. I stared at the nurse as if she were a provocative scrawl on the side of a traincar presently passing through a populated thoroughfare in front of dozens, or perhaps wholly several dozens. Who knows what scenes she’s attended to, I wondered. What horrors she has witnessed? Just then my old enemy ‘sleep’ wandered in to my life yet again, and I blacked out under the nurse’s pencil. Automaton and regretful enthusiast. I stretched, yawned, though this was pure show, to cover the more serious attributes of my inability to focus on not fainting. It was my great interest that needed to be shielded, and protecting my interests was key. So I threw off the staff and the other gloved but wholly unnecessary staffhands, all with a glare. I grew so stiff with anger that I almost forgot to pay attention to the nurse as the first prick of that sharpened pencil lead bit into my scalp. Maggot to butterfly, I said to myself. Transcend. Molt.