It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then — just 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 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 help myself.
I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius, and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
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 a college professor 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 drama.
“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 a social reportage 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. Leaning on 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 Thinkers Anonymous poster. This 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. The road to recovery is now nearly complete for me.
Today I took the final step. I joined the (Republican / Democratic / Libertarian / Green / Socialist / Whatever) Party.