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.
That was when things began to sour at home. 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 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 Kafka. I would return
to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are
One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, 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. She exploded in tears
of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional
"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. I roared into
the parking lot with NPR on the radio 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 that night.
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. I
think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.