I wasn’t going to write anything at all tonight, but I put on one of my favorite computer apps, the box fan, to drown out the noise so I could think.
As is my gift and or curse, that got me to thinking.
Thinking about how I came to depend on the sound of the fan.
I grew up in a time and place without air conditioners, or at least where they were few and far between. In the old farm houses where they were installed, they were the window units and, as the insulation was not nearly what it is today, which is to say nearly nonexistent, the units really did little to cool the house. They did, however, still serve to run up the electric bill.
We didn’t have them in our house. What we did have, when the air got hot, were a plethora of window and floor fans. They were, as the saying goes, hot and cold.
I can remember sitting under the breeze of a daytime fan as it did little more than dry the sweat from my face. Just blowing hot air around. It’s little wonder people spent most of their time outside back in those days.
I can also remember, even in the height of summer, waking up shivering as the fan poured in that cool morning air. I can’t describe it. Cool and crisp, as cold as any wind you’ve ever felt. It’s July and I’d get out of bed shivering.
All the things I have written about – I hope at least some of you know what I am talking about – are not why I started this. I am a writer. I cannot simply say a man went down the street and bought a soda. I have to make sure you know everything there is about the journey to buy the soda, his reasons for needing to buy the soda and how his breath would smell after he bought the soda.
What I became accustomed to growing up, what I have been addicted to as an adult, is the sound of a fan when I am trying to concentrate or trying to sleep.
Especially trying to sleep. We have central heat and air these days. We don’t need a fan in every window to keep the house cool.
But it’s there, on the floor, next to my bed, making noise.
I don’t even need the air.
Just need the noise.
Since I am writing this to the sound of a fan, white noise app, I must assume that I am not alone.