I live right beside one of the most air-polluted cities in Canada, and my eyes have had fairly severe reactions to whatever it is that floats around in the air out here. Two operations in the past year, and things don't seem to be improving. It apparently will only get much worse over the next few years. The constant stress is causing the tear glands to drop down into my eyelids, and get permanently puffy. So on the advice of my eye doctor I went (with misgivings, but I am vain) to see a plastic surgeon.

The women working in the surgeon's office were stretched tight as drums, with a false warmth that felt like it cut right through me. The office smelled like death. No, not like death. Like preservative. Like a mortuary. My style may be a bit unorthodox - most likely I didn't much look like the type of client they were comfortable dealing with. In any case, they made it quite clear that they found me somewhat distasteful.

I was charged an unexpected one hundred dollars for the consultation. Then, in a little under two minutes, the doctor told me that he could not fix the tear glands, but that he could fix a number of other things which were wrong with my face. Until that moment, I had not consciously thought there was anything wrong with the rest of my face.

I cried as I drove home. I felt taken advantage of. I felt cold, and old, and hopeless. I felt less than adequate. I felt unacceptable, offensive in some intangible way. I felt ugly and unwanted. I felt not good enough, like I would never fit in. Sub-standard. I was out of my depth. I felt poor, stupid and ill-advised. This is what they do to you. On purpose.

I pulled over and looked at my swollen red eyes and puffy face in the rearview mirror. I felt the horrible irony in those hollow promises of self-confidence and newfound beauty.

And then I got angry. I have never had all that much confidence in my looks - but I have always at least felt that I could work with what I had. But now it felt like even this was going, and I felt lost. To have these fears confirmed and compounded by a doctor - a highly respected professional in the field of cosmetic surgery, and a (self-proclaimed) expert on beauty and aging faces - this was difficult to swallow.

And so, Hypnox was born. I cannot make the air cleaner in my home town, and I will have to live with the consequences of this. But I do not want to live with a perpetually angry, sad, worried or disappointed expression, or a habitually wrinkled face.

Thanks to Hypnox, I won't have to.

to exist is to change, to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly ..
henri bergson