* Interest in professional fasting is declining.
* The professional, or hunger artist, is becoming as disillusioned with his audience as they are with him.
* He watches from the barred cage where he sits in straw with only a clock for company and sips from a glass of water, answering questions "with a constrained smile."
* Occasionally, he stretches out an arm so a visitor can feel how thin it is.
* He recollects the glorious days when villagers bought season tickets to his performances.
* The current reality that only children still marveled, that adults found him "a joke that happened to be in fashion."
* The hunger artist also remembers those most familiar with him and his profession, who believe in his truth without need of proof.
* They stand in stark contrast to the relay teams of watchers who keep vigil to ensure that the hunger artist does not cheat.
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