It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and
then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and
soon I was more than just a social thinker.
I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - but I knew it
wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and
finally I was thinking all the time.
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment
don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.
I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and
I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is
it exactly we are doing here?"
Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had
turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She
spent that night at her mother's.
I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called
me in. He said, "Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this,
but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop
thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me
a lot to think about.
I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I
confessed, "I've been thinking..."
"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"
"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."
"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as
college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so
if you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"
"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to
cry. I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I
stomped out the door.
I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with NPR on
the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass
doors... they didn't open. The library was closed.
To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me
As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering
for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking
ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It
comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.
Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never
miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video;
last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we
avoided thinking since the last meeting.
I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.