You are in a state of total concentration. You are experiencing nothing but these words, and you are feeling very sleepy and suggestible. Every tiny pain and itch in your body, even ones that you ordinarily would not notice, is amplified tenfold. Take a moment to catalogue all the minor itches in your body. Even if you feel that you have none, imaginary itches will begin to appear. Scratching them will not be satisfying.
You are totally focused on your own discomfort, and on my words. You are now totally under the spell of the Asshole Hypnotist.
You are hyperaware of your eyeballs. Blinking is not automatic anymore, and you must carefully regulate it. Your eyes feel very dry. Blinking is uncomfortable. There is a straining pressure behind your eyes, and there's no way to relieve it. Try bugging your eyes out to relieve it, or straining the muscles in your eyelids and temples. It doesn't work, does it? The pressure is still there.
You have another itch.
Breathing is no longer automatic. You're very aware of the fact that it takes effort to breathe, and you've never been more annoyed by it. It will take you a very long time to forget that breathing is automatic. Imagine how close you are to death-- if you should forget to breathe in your sleep, you will suffocate and die. You will have a very difficult time falling asleep tonight, because you will remember reading this and recall that it takes an annoying amount of effort to breathe. You will have to stay awake tonight just to regulate your breathing so you don't die in your sleep.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Now stop breathing and wait for your body to breathe automatically. See? It does not work. You are now in total control of your respiratory system, and you hate it.
You have to yawn right now. Your yawn is very unsatisfying.
Swallowing is not automatic. Spit is building up in your mouth, and you have to swallow it, but swallowing becomes more and more difficult to do the more you think about it. You swallow over and over again, until the concept of swallowing has become so abstract that you can't even remember how to do it.
You have to yawn again.
There is some bureaucratic problem in your life--perhaps an unpaid medical bill or an impending drivers license renewal--and it seems frustrating and insurmountable to you. You cannot relax until you solve this thing, but you are too lazy to do so, so it will linger in your mind like an ugly, hostile child. You're worried about your job security.
Maybe your romantic partner is getting ready to break up with you, and that's why they have been acting so strangely. Maybe your girlfriend is pregnant. If you're a girl, maybe you're pregnant.
You're in a terrible mood. You have a headache. You have a very modest amount of work to do, but it seems impossible. You're itchy all over. Breathing is very annoying, and you are now feeling like yawning again.
You might have cancer. A lot of the weird problems you've been having would be easily explained by cancer. When was the last time you were checked? Cancer is incredibly common. It would be amazing if you DIDN'T have cancer. Your body is wracked with low-level aches. Your genitals feel weird.
Your own mortality has snapped into sharp focus. Think about how much of your life you've lived, and how little you've accomplished. Think about how much faster time passes now than it used to. Summers used to last an eternity when you were young, and the days were so much longer and fuller. Your life is accelerating toward its ignominious conclusion, faster and faster all the time. You're almost consoled by the fact that you might die tomorrow. You have cancer. You have to yawn.
You're thirsty and your eyes hurt. Your hair is itchy. You feel filthy, even though you showered recently. You might never feel clean again. You feel ashamed of something bad you did years ago. Everybody still remembers.
People laugh at you; you're a joke. You pronounce a certain word wrong, every single time, and everybody is too polite to correct you. They notice, and it annoys them terribly. You don't know what the word is, and you'll probably keep mispronouncing it until the day you die, unless somebody steps in and humiliates you first.
Think about the most humiliating moment of your life. Think about how stupid you felt. In your lifetime, probably within the year, maybe even today, you will face much, much greater humiliation than that. Hopefully you will die of cancer before that happens.
It's difficult to swallow. There is a terrible taste in your mouth, but you are totally focused on my words and you are in no position to do anything about it. Your mouth is hot and rancid, and your tongue feels foreign. Your tongue is slimy, and too big. You are now hyperaware of your tongue and your saliva and the taste in your mouth. You try to swallow, but it is difficult. There is a pain in one of your teeth. It might be some horrible dental problem. You are now obsessed with it.
You can't stop feeling the backs of your teeth with the tip of your tongue. They feel weird to you. Your whole mouth feels greasy and disgusting. Your breath smells bacterial and unclean, and people notice.
Breathing is hard. You have to think about it every time you inhale and exhale. You will remember this tonight, when you are trying to go to sleep. You will curse the name of the Asshole Hypnotist, and then you will die of cancer and forgetting to breathe.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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