Things you see in the 19th floor men’s room

He’s tall, erect, dressed in an impossibly crisp white shirt and grey slacks. His face is rigid as red Mahneshan rock formations. His choice in eyewear is elegant and conservative—the lenses are rimless; the arms are nearly invisible in their thinness.

Not unexpectedly, he is punctual.

Every day at this time he squares off against the mirror holding his toothbrush in an iron fist. His brushing is unforgiving and efficient. When he pulls the brush from his mouth, it is with a series of violent, ripping thrusts. He rakes the bristles across his teeth and gums as if he’s trying to expel them from his mouth with the remnants of his breakfast.

He paces while he brushes. And brushes. And brushes.

It’s a daily assault that never seems to end.

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