Memes wash all over me. They cover me. I'm disgusted. I'm sick. The smell is bubonic. My skin slowly absorbs their oil as they ooze to the surface.

   My synapses manufacture messages without leave. Each wave of blood washes new impulses through me. I am not in control of anything more than a trawler is in control of the sea. My introspection is the drag net reaching down like an undiscriminating subsurface probe. Threatening at any second to overturn the craft. Dangerous currents are made known to me as the capricious analogue pulses of frayed ropes against callused hands. Rogue waves rush out of the frigid dark. Thick slippery kelp flesh binds my bilge pumps and chokes my turbine. Strange creatures cry out of the night. This sea is alive and I am rudderless and blind.

   There is a thankfully obscured food chain churning below me. Below the folds, down deep in the foaming tide the chemical florescence dimly outlines carnage. Memes stalking mnemonic. Primitive impulse sucking on base instinct. Calcium, plasma, and protein leak steadily into the benthic fluid. I can't stare down into my horror. Neither can my eyes make out the black horizon. I double down and retch a fractal bloom into the viscus sway. It floats like jelly. Needle-like fins and translucent mouths begin to break the surface impulsively attracted by the mess. Thousands of them. Distracted from my wretchedness I stare in shock as they multiply. Shining gray bodies breaking into the air. Darker shadows beneath. Blood clouds to the surface as the swells start to boil.

   My hands beat against my head. Waves of deep pink static pour into my ears devolving occasionally into confused cries. Visions of corruption. Little bodies squirming over my skin. My stomach turns with the stench. I fall to the deck on hands and knees. This little machine can not suffice. How is a poor aging hulk of steel and wire to patrol this raging sea? Where does the fuel come from that drives the rust through the limitless deep? What an idea it was to take this leaning ocean reporter for a high seas dreadnought! How can I continue to captain this hopeless frigate against lawless entities breeding endlessly far below my reach? The thought of that creature that might expose itself to my feeble hunter's thrust several magnificent seconds before crashing down again into the fray fills me with trembling weakness! Nothing reaches the surface of this post biological soup without that it kills its way into the crowded breach.

   I am dazed on the cold wet heaving deck. Rather than continue wiping the oil from my pores. Rather than staring into a storm of contesting troughs. Rather than navigating blindly in the darkness of my limited perception. I should make for the nearest beach. Run aground, wade clear of the wreak, haul myself on to the beach and sleep. Give up the horrifying battle. Disgrace and abandon this clumsy ship. Rather that than wait to be swamped by the waves of hallucination, raw emotion, and psyche. Dragged by the hair screaming down into the wild suffocation of the primordial benthos. Face to face with all the fermented evil forces imaginable. Anything is better than that way. Anything.

   Suddenly energized I lurch against the rising waves. Stumble into the rude pilot's house breathing sour spray. Fumbling with locks and latches. Somewhere there may be a lantern, compass and map. A radio and flares to signal distress with. Some hope of salvation away from the bitter wind and the open sea.

In the Java programming language, the application of the reflection API to interrogate JavaBeans.

Introspection makes several assumptions about the structure of a class as per the JavaBeans specification, utilizing established best practices such as naming conventions and well-known design patterns to derive a suitable model of an object. For example, it deduces the existence of a property of a given name, based on the existence of getter and setter methods following established nomenclature. In this way, it provides the mechanism supporting the software component model of JavaBeans.

In more recent applications such as in J2EE, the principles of introspection are applied to more general "bean" objects, allowing a much broader range of objects to integrate with both development tools and application software.

Linda's mind could absorb successes without incident, but failures seemed to bounce between her brain and the lining of her skull. They returned to torment her at random, then vanished for unpredictable periods of time. It was never just one failure that came to mind, either, but several, as if they coordinated their attacks on her already flimsy self-esteem.

But this was worse than usual. She felt a flood of them coming on, a tidal wave of failures. Linda gripped the kitchen counter as if it was a real flood and she did not want to be swept away. Linda had been depressed for years, the kind of depression that stews quietly with occasional spikes, and there was a serious possibility that this spike would push her over the edge. She wished the carving knife was not so close to her hand. She felt her emotions retreating and quivering in the corners of her mind like frightened children, leaving only her bare self to face the assault.

The army was on the horizon, barely detectable as a faint, tingling self-doubt. Early volleys flew through Linda's consciousness, but they were poorly aimed, mundane doubts about the breakfast she had prepared that morning. "The kids hate your eggs." "The toast was soggy. Soggy!" She deflected them: "Eggs are healthy, and I didn't prepare the toast. Is this the worst you can do?" The latter took the form of a burst of confidence directed at her adversary, because Linda's subconscious only understood emotions.

She regretted the taunt, because the feeling started to intensify. Linda retreated to high ground - the rational mind, where her belief structures and self-concept were stored like precious gems. The enemy surrounded her as a strong sense of pessimism, but they would have to congeal into something explicit before they could reach her up here. She cracked open her long term memory and fumbled for a weapon. She hefted a rusty old syllogism. Now there was nothing to do but wait.

She sensed that something big was trying to get in. Linda repressed vigorously to buy time, barricading the unwelcome intruder with memories: a high school dance, a trip to the mall. If it did get in, it would have to find a way around those. She would at least get a glance at its logical structure, and maybe find a weak point before they closed.

Linda realized she had miscalculated. High school was the highest level of schooling Linda had received, and now she worked in a shoe store at the mall. She watched in horror as the associations of the two memories rotted them from within, revealing two of her biggest sources of insecurity. They advanced menacingly. Behind them, the ten pounds she gained over Christmas and her poor memory for faces had finally broken through. Smaller regrets swept in through the breach - less dangerous individually, but crushing in mass. Linda's self crouched and prepared to strike as the first came in range.

Linda's husband chose this moment to enter the kitchen. He had come home from work early. He was tired, and he just wanted to drink a beer and watch baseball. If he had been more attentive, he would have noticed that Linda had stopped preparing dinner half way through, which had never happened before. He would also have noticed that even though her eyes were glazed and motionless, her face was contorted as with an immense effort, and her hand kept sliding for the carving knife before jolting violently back to her side. Upon observing this, he would not have said "hey, pun'kin" in an absent drawl and stalked back to the living room with his cold Bud Lite.

Linda cornered the last surviving insecurity, froze it with the full force of her mind, and tore out its two vital inferences. It emitted the psychosomatic equivalent of a high-pitched squeal before collapsing into incoherent semantic goop. She checked carefully to be sure that nothing sinister was lurking on any accessible level of consciousness before deciding that it was over. They would come again, as always, but she would be ready. She stored her trusty syllogism back in memory and, forgetting the ordeal, finished making dinner.

In`tro*spec"tion (?), n. [Cf. F. introspection.]

A view of the inside or interior; a looking inward; specifically, the act or process of self-examination, or inspection of one's own thoughts and feelings; the cognition which the mind has of its own acts and states; self-consciousness; reflection.

I was forced to make an introspection into my own mind. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

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