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“No, Mr Hanger,” I said, cautiously, “I’m afraid I don’t.“
“This,” he said, “This is all false, fake. When I look in the mirror, it’s not me I see. It’s someone else, a mask... Its just a bloody perfect, ugly mask!”
“Mr Hanger,” I said, softly, “Maybe, I’m not the right person to help you. I mean, even if I could, I’m not really sure what you’re asking me to d-”
“I want you to change me!” he said, looking me straight in the eyes, “Operate on my face like they used to in the olden days. Make me look the way I’m supposed to. Please, make me look like me!......”


II


With the advent of plastic surgery in latter half of the twentieth century, it became standard practice to assess a patient’s frame of mind before contemplating any unnecessary cosmetic surgery. And so, this was exactly what I did with Cliff Hanger. Of course, if any other patient had acted this way I would have probably just sent them home with a compulsory counselling order. But a man of Mr Hanger’s stature is not so easily dissuaded. I admit, the money was an influencing factor: business had been bad for some time, and I knew he could more than afford what he was asking me to do. Nevertheless, my actions were just and professional. I even asked an old college friend, one of the world’s most renowned psychologists for a second opinion:

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