Pulp Non Fiction

[ Saturday, April 12, 2003 ]


The Heavy Thinker

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 lunch time 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, "Art, 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 a PBS
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 closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that

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.

art [6:45 PM]