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Metacognition

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Well, Mr. Orderly, thoughts are a funny thing; they're abstract, entirely intangible, and yet they are the most vile, malicious things in existence. From pure, hollow potential for imagination to a twisted prejudice or some revenge fantasy in a second; that's what thoughts are.

I mention this because I've experienced what I believe to be a thought going rogue. I could just be completely mad. This could all just be the theoretical, insane ramblings of a crazy man. I can't tell anymore. I can think of nothing but the thought.

I don't exactly know what happened to begin this chain of events. One day I just woke up and I started thinking thoughts that didn't belong to me.

Though I didn't register it much at the time, I suppose the first hint at the infectious thought's existence was a relatively minor, fleeting musing that crossed my mind at breakfast.

All my life I had hated oranges and everything that contained them. Orange juice, I despised. Orange-cream Popsicle's, I hated. I couldn't stand oranges themselves.

But this morning I saw the orange in my wife's decorative fruit basket and had a craving for oranges. At the time I assumed I was just tired, perhaps my tastes had even changed over time. Eventually I grabbed an orange from the fridge and took a bite. It tasted as awful as they usually do, but I had this odd feeling that I was desperately trying to like it.

The next few instances were fairly innocuous; uncharacteristically frequent swearing, increased frugality with money, heightened libido, things like that.

Eventually I found myself confused by the mess of unfamiliarity my thoughts had become. At this point I began to take notice of my increasingly uncharacteristic thoughts, but I thought little of it. Opinions change.

The first of the more drastic alterations to my psyche was a profound, vague hatred.

I would look at human beings, any human beings, and my mind would automatically despise them. Man or woman, child or adult, black or white, acquaintance or stranger; every person I encountered, I regarded with contempt.

Worse, I am absolutely sure my mind was trying to convince me that this new found cynicism was absolutely normal, for I didn't even notice it until I hit my son for the first time.

He hadn't even done anything wrong. I distinctly remember; he had just asked me a question and I slapped him across the face.

I spent the night thinking.

I have a theory, though. I have no doubt this will sound like the insane pleas of a madman trying to justify himself, but I firmly believe in the infectious thought.

I believe there is something, some abstract entity, masquerading as a thought. Maybe it is a living thought itself. Whatever it is, it has invaded my mind. It is replacing my thoughts with itself.

This parasitic, formless thing is what is bringing these changes in my personality. It made me hit my son. I am just a puppet to this thought whether it realizes it or not.

And I fear it may be trying to spread.

I've noticed recently that my son has become more cold, reserved, and cynical when he had once been open and cheerful. The thought has no doubt infected him as well.

No, please, keep listening. I think the thought can only move through other thoughts. For example, if two people are both thinking about a movie, the infectious thought can jump from one mind to another, infecting both of them.

I also believe that it forces its infected to think 'common' thoughts so as to move more easily. That is why my libido had grown and I had become somewhat more greedy; it made me think of sex and money in order to connect to other minds more quickly.

Stop! Please, Mr. Orderly, let me finish. If you still think I'm crazy by the end of this, then I'll let you lock me up with no protest.

Anyway, at any moment, it can jump from mind to mind simply by virtue of two people thinking the same thing. It could invade you right now, if you are thinking of the same thing as an infected. That's why I was so afraid of this thought, because of its sheer infectivity.

Now, I can prove I'm not insane now. I've spoken with the thought. No, it's true. I have.

I asked it questions once. What are you, where are you from, that kind of thing.

Then I began to think the answers, or rather it began to think them for me. In my mind's eye I saw myself, and my son, and my wife. I saw my boss, my co-workers, my friends. I saw people I hadn't seen since high school.

I saw everybody I knew.

For a moment I was confused, but when the realization hit me, it hit me like a train.

I immediately called the police. I didn't know who else I could call. I knew deep in my heart that they could do nothing about the infectious thought. The thought knew as well, and I - it, I mean it - began to gloat silently to myself.

And that's why I'm here, Mr. Orderly. They thought I was crazy. But I'm not. I'm not crazy, I just know the truth, and if that makes me a lunatic, you can admit me to this sanitarium right now.

Please, though, do me one favor. Think unconventional thoughts. Thoughts that nobody else would think. That will keep you safe from the thought. Never let your mind lapse into normalcy. In just a split second, it can invade you.

Don't think about the thought itself, though; that's what it's making me think of.


Credited to Pyro-Gibberish

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