It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties
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 Kafka. 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 an AM station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and
ran up to the big glass doors...they didn't open. The library was
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
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
I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.
Life just seemed...easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped