Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The thing about being stupid

is that it's really nice.

I've been telling my students this, when I apologize for how stupid I've been lately, and they sort of laugh uncomfortably. That's OK. Students laugh uncomfortably around me all of the time.

But it is really nice to be stupid.

See, I've been on and off pain killers, waiting for my open wounds to close up. Sometimes my wounds are on the edge of getting infected and they hurt a lot so I have to take a lot of pain meds. But sometimes they don't hurt all that bad and I don't have to take a lot of pain meds. I get a lot more done when I'm pain-med free. Because the drugs really do make me stoopid.

But here's what's so nice about being stupid: you never get bored. You stare at the wall (sometimes literally) for an hour or more and you don't really care. You don't think about how you're trapped in bed or of what you should be doing. There's no room in your head for thoughts or anxiety. You're not really happy, but you don't really care because caring requires *thought* and having thoughts requires you not to be stupid. All of the voices in your head--the lines of books you just read that keep spinning around nonstop, the ideas for the story you're working on, the line from your last academic article that needs revision, the mental reminders that your house is a mess and that your children have not done their homework in weeks--all of those voices are gone.

It's quiet in your head.

Just quiet.

I think I read somewhere that there is, like, a linear connection between intelligence and general unhappiness. Having been smart and having been stupid, I think there might be some truth to this.

So the next time you run into someone that's really stupid, instead of getting angry at how stupid they are, or appalled, or determined never to be.like.them, the next time that happens just remember:

they're probably happier than you'll ever be.

2 comments:

LOUSY bff said...

So you are either dopey OR you're mopey?

This explains so much.

What time do you get to campus? I still have to mommy-sit (1:00 today, so I can't come AFTER class), but maybe we could chill before/between classes?

ps capcha word is "discarn." I'd say what you went through this summer--having your meat removed? ...grossssss

nicole said...

profound. and depressing.

i wonder if i'd rather be stupid and happy (not that i'm claiming to be smart - just smart enough to keep thinking of all the things i should do.)