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 aloneto relax, I told myselfbut I knew it wasnt true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and eventually I was thinking all the time.
I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and working dont mix, but I just couldnt stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, What is it exactly we do here? 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 dont stop thinking on the job, well have to find someone else. This gave me a lot to think about.
And at home things werent going so great either. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent the night at her mothers. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. Lamb chop, I confessed, Ive been thinking... I know youve been thinking, she said, and I want a divorce. But Poopsie, surely its not that serious. It is serious, she said, lower lip aquiver. You think as much as a college professor, and everyone knows college professors dont make any money, so if you keep up this thinking then we wont have any money! Thats a faulty syllogism, I said impatiently as she began to cry. Id had enough. Im going to the library! I snarled, as I stomped out the door.
I drove to the library, PBS blaring on the radio, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors...and they didnt open. The library closed?! To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. As I sank to the ground scrabbling 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 from the standard Thinkers 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 Porkys III. Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.
Now I have a job and things are a lot better at home.
Life was just...easier, somehow, once I stopped thinking.