Burlington in may,'07
Thanks for your last letter, where you finish off by asking me about how I'm getting on with my my drinking problem. But no buddy!... it was no misspelling as you evidently thought ... I don't have a drinking problem, but I have been struggling with a serious thinking problem!
The whole matter 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 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, "Benny, 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 a quiver. "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, 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 NPR 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 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. Hence I am happy ! Tell you what, Brandulph... I'm getting better every day now, and soon, I will be able to vote something else than Republican or Democrate.... especially after Bush-Bush and Obama... But on the other hand, it might be far, far to late to vote at all. This is especially so after I watched this George Carlin video!
Best regards... and say hello to Oscar!
Here is a letter from a friend of mine - Benny - whom I thought had a serious drinking problem, but it was a bit more serious than that