A man walks into a library, approaches the librarian, and asks for books about paranoia. The librarian whispers, “They’re right behind you!”
The man is shocked and looks around, but he doesn’t see anyone. He turns back to the librarian and asks, “What’s the matter with you?”
The librarian says, “I’m just trying to help you find the books you asked for.”
The man is still confused, but he decides to humor the librarian. He walks over to the section on paranoia and starts looking through the books.
As he’s looking, he hears a voice say, “They’re watching you.”
The man jumps and turns around, but he still doesn’t see anyone. He starts to think that maybe he’s going crazy.
He turns back to the librarian and asks, “What’s going on? I keep hearing voices.”
The librarian says, “Don’t worry, those are just the other patrons. They’re all paranoid too.”
The man is starting to feel really scared. He doesn’t know what to do. He wants to leave, but he’s afraid to move.
He just stands there, frozen in fear, listening to the voices.
Finally, he can’t take it anymore. He runs out of the library, screaming.
He runs and runs until he’s sure that he’s lost the voices.
He finally stops running and collapses on the ground, exhausted.
He lies there for a few minutes, trying to catch his breath.
When he finally feels like he can move again, he gets up and walks home.
He’s never been back to that library.
He’s still not sure if he was really being paranoid, or if the voices were real.
But one thing he knows for sure: he’ll never forget the day he went to the library and found out that paranoia is contagious.