Monday, January 10, 2005

A Place to Rest?

Since Chris left, I haven't been sleeping so well. Missing him and feeling sad that he's gone, I've been drowning my loneliness in epic Russian literature and bad VH1 videos. Wish they would program David Bowie videos instead of Paula Abdul.

This morning started off with more excitement than expected. I don't usually remember dreams. They slip back down into the dark reaches of the mind when I wake under normal circumstances. Today was different so it's easy to remember that the precise moment of waking, I had just finished dreaming of arriving in India (looking suspiciously like the border of Mexico and Guatemala) and had moved on to traveling through Portugal. The Portugal of my dreams looked a lot like a pastoral version of rural Europe. Huge trees cast blue-green shadows over a woodland crisscrossed with shallow canals. Boatmen were poling rafts down the canals, ferrying people through the countryside. And as I was deciding whether or not to jump on a passing raft, sleep was shattered by a startling crash.

I understand why sudden shocks cause heart attacks. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it would burst out of my chest. What was that noise in the dark? Dreams receded as the dark room came into view. It sounded like something had been pushed or crashed. Couldn't have been the TV. No breaking glass. The sofa couldn't crash. The bed was still standing. Argh. In a groggy stupor I struggled to reach the light.

A flick of the switch revealed bare wires hanging down from the ceiling. I didn't remember those being there before. I peeked over the end of the bed. The sound made sense once I saw the ceiling fan shattered on the tile floor at the foot. During the night the fan had oscillated and revolved, slowly working it's screws out of the ceiling. Before daylight, the screws were finally free and plastic and metal rained down. Shrapnel covered the floor.


I went looking in the darkness for someone to tell that the fan had killed itself. I found a young boy, the watchman, cocooned in a white sheet and told him. Didn't want the owners to think that I had destroyed the fan as payback for attempting to double the price of the room the day before. Greedy buggers.

The boy inspected the mess. "Ohhh!!" Sleepy smile. "Sleeping? Ohhh! Bad." With that he returned to his cocoon.

People are afraid to go to the beach for fear of tsunamis. People are afraid to travel because of disease. Me, now I'm wary of ceiling fans. I'm thankful the bed was placed where it was, out of the line of freefall. Nothing like an appliance the weight of a bowling ball suspended above your head as you sleep...

Tonight I'm in a different room. This one has a ceiling fan and a regular stand alone fan. I pointed at the ceiling fan and shook my head. The owner chuckled and walked away.


Blogger Natasha said...

I always wondered if fans would do that! I used to watch my ceiling fan in New Orleans wobble around & worry. Now I know! Were there signs that the spinning continued once it reached the floor?

January 10, 2005 9:47 PM  
Blogger Jennifer P. said...

To reassure those of you with the usual kind of ceiling fans (like the ones in New Orleans) this was a distinctly Thai ceiling fan. The fan looked much like an oscillating fan that would normally sit on a desk. Somehow it's bulky body was attached to the ceiling, but not very well!

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see if the blades spun on the way down. The fan was already dead by the time I switched on the lights.

March 28, 2005 4:50 AM  

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