The mask begins to slip

A man walks into a doctor’s surgery. He’s not old, but his face is a mask of anguish and the set of his shoulders weary. He’s carrying all the troubles of the world.

“Doctor, I need help. I used to love the world and all the people in it; now I feel nothing except worry and frustration. Please, please, give me something to end this pain.”

The doctor thinks a moment. Then, tearing a handbill off his noticeboard: “The solution is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him perform. That will cheer you up.”

The man bursts into tears.

“But doctor… I am Pagliacci.”

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