Rusty Fan

Rusty Box FanI’ve always been a light sleeper. A car driving by or even the house moving a little wakes me up. Being a light sleeper has been a curse over the years robbing me of a solid night of sleep. I sleep with a fan on, just like my dad, to help drown out noises. It’s the white noise of a fan that helps me sleep. The sound of water dripping from the gutters woke me up at 4:30 this morning.

As a kid I would lay in my dads bed reading Fangoria (funny to think as a kid I was allowed to own and read that magazine) or a Mad Magazine, they had cool pictures,  while he read one of his science fiction books by Jack Vance or Isaac Asimov. His books seemed complicated and boring to me at the time, there were no pictures or back page you could fold to show a hidden message. His old metal box fan would be on but it wasn’t a smooth sound like my plastic fan. His fan was rusty (the one pictured looks new compared to his) and rattled.

I’m guessing I’m not alone in this but sometimes when I wake up I check my phone for text messages, email and social media updates, in that order. I’d be willing to bet this is a common occurrence for light sleepers with smart phones. You roll over, grab the phone and scroll. One of the emails I got was a blog I like to read so I clicked the link. What I read took me back to my childhood. The years of living near woods, spending time with grandparents, divorce of my parents and now my own.

It’s easy for me to reminisce about years gone by, that’s just what I do. Last night I thought about my childhood into my adult years. I don’t know why I do that. Starting with my earliest memory and working up to a current situation. It’s like I’m tracing my steps trying to capture something; remembering pivotal moments perhaps searching for lessons.

I didn’t come away with any lessons. There wasn’t a moment when I paused and thought, “ahhh so that’s a great lesson.” It was just a string of memories. As I remembered my life when I first married I thought about the factory where I worked. Sometimes I dream about that place and in my dream I’m back there. Years have passed but the people are the same, everyone is still there. My guess is that’s not far from the truth, it was a great place for someone to settle down at and make a life commitment to. I remembered things I’d forgotten like how the spot welder would spark sometimes. The spark would hit the floor, made of wood blocks, and start to smoke. The smoke was acrid and yellow. I’d forgotten that detail.

As I reached for the fan to kick it up to medium my phone dropped on the floor. My instinct of course was to pick it up but I left it there, just out of reach, and rolled back over for a couple more hours of sleep. The fan was just loud enough to drown out the water dripping from the gutters.

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