The fan

I gaze up at the ceiling fan, rattan thatched blades casting shadow patterns as it spins. Faint giggles sound from the bedroom, but aside from those and the gentle whoosh of fanned air, the house is silent.

I imagine that I am in the open sided lobby of a tropical hotel or resort, maybe one in Malaysia. The fans overhead cool my sweaty brow as I relax on the colourful sofa, sipping my welcome drink.

The sound of thunder as a late afternoon tropical shower unleashes, a sudden, though temporary, change in temperature, the clatter of heavy droplets drowning out the other sounds.

Other families stay at these resorts and never seem to leave their grounds. Not us, for we are a restless family, always eager to search out a better meal, a more genuine local experience.

I often wander what it would be like without that imperative. Not to feel as if each mocktail and meal ordered was a financial betrayal, as if a day of rest was not a wasted day.

No, I struggle to imagine myself lounging by the pool for the entire day. Instead I see myself occupied. Making, coding, solving, writing. Something. A purpose.

I have a reason to stay in the hotel or resort, but the means to enjoy it. I imagine walking across to the local hawker centre for breakfast. An afternoon swim. Sitting on the balcony admiring the golden light of the waning day. A dinner in an open-sided restaurant by the beach watching the storms come in. Sipping a mocktail and eating satay while a band plays gentle music after dusk.

No need to go far, free of household duties and distractions. Subtracting from, not adding to work and anxieties.

And as the fan spins relentlessly overhead I wonder to myself if I will ever have a chance to enjoy such a fantasy. I switch it off and go to join the others in the bedroom.

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