My Version of the Tell-Tale Heart

When I write poetry, I sometimes have to sweat it out—and I mean literally. On hot days, it can be sweltering outside and a bit too warm inside my apartment. I am loathe to overuse the air conditioner since I saw the last quarterly bill and nearly choked. What would I do without my trusty ceiling fan? I installed it a few years ago during a similar summer season when temperatures were out of bounds. However, this week it started to drive me nuts. The ceiling fan is unbalanced all of a sudden and the inconsistent sound is crazy making and I am unable to write. The thump, thump, thump of its beating heart reminds me of the famous story by Edgar Allen Poe. I want to strike it or stare it down into quiescence. I have a lot to get done.

Something has to be done before I throw a brick at it to make it stop. Poe knew a lot about human psychology when he wrote his quirky and terrifying stories. A ceiling fan after all is supposed to calm you down as it provides air circulation and a cool artificial breeze. It is not doing its job. I have no clue about balancing the thing so I ask a friend with a vast set of tools about reinstalling it properly. He took a look and said, no problem. The fan had come loose in one area. All he had to do with adjust the bolt. I suppose I could have done it myself. But I am a poet at heart. We are a non-practical breed with our heads in the clouds. We need to focus on inspiration and creative energy and not waste effort on mundane repairs. I didn’t tell my friend in fear of insulting him. It is not that poets and writers are superior as much as they are of a different mindset.

I learned a tidbit about ceiling fans that day after reading a blog called Ceiling Fan Choice. If you have a basic set of tools and an installation manual for your unit, you can remedy most malfunctions. You don’t have to get into fancy wiring jobs if it is already in place and working normally. Sometimes I just put a new battery in the remote control. It’s as simple as that. Anything else in the instructions is beyond my purview. Then it is time for friends! Every poet should have a handyman in their circle. This is my best and most practical advice. Meanwhile, a ceiling fan is a godsend when your body temperature is off kilter. A small desktop fan just blows air in your face.

I am so pleased to have my fan working again that I am inspired to write a take-off on The Telltale Heart. I will liken the beating menace to a time bomb. Instead of being trapped in a wall, it will be inside my head. When it blows, the ideas will burst forth, fueling a million stories. A bit crazy—yes.