Exquisite Pain [eks-kwisit payn] (med.) acutely felt, pin-point suffering.

I left for Japan on October 25, 1984, unsuspecting that this date would mark the begining of a 92 day countdown to the end of a love affair. Nothing Extraordinary — but to me, at the time, the unhappiest moment in my life, and one for which I blamed the trip itself. I got back to France on January 28, 1985. From that moment, whenever people asked me how it went, I chose to skip the Far East bit and tell them about my suffering instead. In return I started asking both friends and chance encounters: “When did you suffer most?” — I decided to continue such exchanges until I got over my pain by comparing it with other people's, or had worn out my own story through sheer repetition.

Excerpt taken from: Calle, S, 2004. Exquisite Pain. 1st ed. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 222-223.

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