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What does “that thing” refer to in the context?

 

Or should I have said that I wanted to die, not in the sense of wanting to throw myself off of that train bridge over there, but more like wanting to be asleep forever because there isn’t any making up for killing women or even watching women get killed, or for that matter killing men and shooting them in the back and shooting them more times than necessary to actually kill them and it was like just trying to kill everything you saw sometimes because it felt like there was acid seeping down into your soul and then your soul is gone and knowing from being taught your whole life that there is no making up for what you are doing, you’re taught that your whole life, but then even your mother is so happy and proud because you lined up your sight posts and made people crumple and they were not getting up ever and yeah they might have been trying to kill you too,

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so you say, What are you gonna do?, but really it doesn’t matter because by the end you failed at the one good thing you could have done, the one person you promised would live is dead, and you have seen all things die in more manners than you’d like to recall and for a while the whole thing fucking ravaged your spirit like some deep-down shit, man, that you didn’t even realize you had until only the animals made you sad, the husks of dogs filled with explosives and old arty shells and the fucking guts and everything stinking like metal and burning garbage and you walk around and the smell is deep down into you now and you say, How can metal be so on fire? and Where is all this fucking trash coming from? and even back home you’re getting whiffs of it and then that thing you started to notice slipping away is gone and now it’s becoming inverted...

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What does “that thing” refer to in “then that thing you started to notice slipping away is gone”?
Thanks!

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PS: the whole passage is a sentence.

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    I believe that 'that thing' is his humanity, his ability to feel for other human beings. The fact that it is becoming inverted means that his feelings are no longer merely neutral towards feelings, but are turning to hatred and possibly a desire to kill.

    At least, that is my interpretation from what I have seen. I'm guessing a little here.

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