“Zen and the Art of Table Fan Maintenance”

Something I’ve learned the hard way during this bit is the necessity of taking care of your fan. it’s only a shitty $15 6 inch two speed. My first one burned out due to carelessness; I’d leave it on for literally weeks on end, early cleaning it, never applying lubricant to the axle. One of the bearings had groove melted into it from leaving it on at a certain angle, which only allowed it to work in that one position. Eventually it stalled out in the middle off the night, and the motor overheated and melted one of the wires. 

I sold it for parts and bought an used one off the yard, and had it modified to put out extra juice. (The fan don’t blow that much air otherwise) Every other week I clean the dust off blade, the blade guard, and the motor in addition to putting two drops of oil at each end of the axle. Some inmates use ChapStick, or petroleum jelly, but oil is best, if you can get your hands on some. By caring for it regularly, I hope to ensure it runs smoothly until the end of my bit. 

This kind of behavior is a big change for me. For most of my adult life, I didn’t take care of, or even care for, material possessions. I’d run a car into the ground by driving reckless and wild,like flooring it with a 120,000 miles on it. I think I might’ve gotten an oil change and tire realignment once, maybe twice, ever. Instead of repairing the car–and before that, maintaining it–I’d junk it and start riding a bike. When that got destroyed, I jus took the bus. I prided myself on this extreme detachment to possessions and things. In reality, I was jus wasteful, careless, and lazy. Taking care of my shit would’ve reflected pride.

Today, I’ve only a few possessions to take care of, or am even allowed to have, so I do my best to keep my white clothes and shoes clean and white, my fan working smoothly, and my bed sheets changed and folded. I’m dedicated to *doing* small tasks and responsibilities, instead of thinking about or ignoring them.

I may be down and out, broke, a convicted felon, a prisoner, and someone whose squandered many of the advantages afforded him but I’m not done yet. I’ve still got some pride and a point to prove (oiling my fan, scrubbing the blade…)


  1. What an inspiring post about doing everything within your control to the best of your abilities. A long-forgotten lesson for a world that has an excess of materialism. Very inspiring to read about your experiences. Keep sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brendan says:

      Thanks for the positive feedback! I am definitely continuing to post his writings as he sends them to me . Also I send him positive comments like this one ☝️ to gas him up a little and keep him writing haha


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s