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May 7, 2003
Physical pain fascinates me. I am tickled by the notion that pain, like pleasure, is a response to the stimulation of nerve endings. But why is it that pain is perceived as pain, and pleasure as pleasure?

Sometimes when I'm in pain, I try to trick myself into believing that my experience isn't painful but pleasurable instead. I don't say, "This is pleasure, not pain"; rather, I try to confer on the pain the attributes of pleasure. "This isn't a toothache," I'll think. "It's the deliciousness of a massage."

But pain is never fooled. It takes perverse pleasure in itself!