The Hypnotist


Lie down. Close your eyes. Count backwards from twenty-five. When you get down to five, slow down. Count even slower. When you finally reach the number one, you will drift into a deep sleep. You will focus on my voice and only the sound of my voice. I’m going to snap, and when I snap, I want you to …

What do you mean you’re not asleep? Just, a deep sleep. Did you count all the way from twenty-five? Well that’s your problem, right there. You have to count in your head from twenty-five all the way down. Say the numbers really loudly in your head. Twenty-five! Twenty-four! Like that.

OK, where were we? You are now in a deep sleep. When I clap my hands, you … What’s the problem now? How could you forget what number you were up to? This isn’t really that difficult. Would it help to count out loud? OK, count out loud. I’ll wait.

Excellent. You are now in a state of semi-consciousness. I’m sorry, you’re what? You know you’re paying for this session by the hour right? You didn’t think maybe that you should’ve gone to the bathroom beforehand? Weren’t you waiting in the reception area for a while? Whatever, just go. Just go and then come right back, we still have a lot of work to do here.

Better? All right let’s try a different approach. I want you to sit up with your back straight against the chair. Because we’re trying a different approach. Because I don’t think the laying down approach was working and so we’re trying something different. Terrific. Take deep, slow breaths. Make sure your lungs are filled with air and then right when you can’t fit any more air inside, let it all out through your mouth. Look, if your ribs hurt … I don’t know, I’m not a medical doctor. Yes, I went to medical school, but I haven’t practiced medicine in years. Fine, just breath in as much as you can, don’t force it in if your chest hurts. Yes, through your nose. Well then blow your nose. Well then just breathe in through your mouth.

Look, I’m just trying to get us both relaxed here. Just slow your breathing down. Well that’s because I am a little agitated. We’ve been at this for twenty minutes already and there’s nothing to show for it. Because we don’t use watches like in the movies. I don’t care what your brother read online. Well maybe you can find a psychiatrist who specializes in snake charming.

No I’m not going to make you jump up and down like a monkey. That’s not what hypnotism is about at all. That’s because those guys aren’t real hypnotists. That’s because they’re probably all just faking it. No, that was fake too, that was a TV show. Because I know it’s fake. Everybody knows it’s fake. No, look, trust me, wrestling is fake also. Well it is. Fine, don’t believe me. You never wondered why there was a cameraman in his therapy session? You see any cameras here?

I don’t care what your father says, this is legitimate profession. Well then why did you come here? Well even if that were what I did, which it’s not, you can’t just learn something like this in one session. Go ahead and try it on your brother, it’s obviously not working for you. Thirty minutes left. Look, what do want, you want to keep at this? You want to try again?

All right fine, take it. Just take the prescription and get lost. No, that would be a felony. Well I don’t think you’re a real doctor either.