“You did it again,” my wife said, shooting me an accusatory glance.
My denial was pure reflex. “No, I didn’t.”
“You did so.”
“Did what?” I asked.
“You left the coffee maker on.”
“No I didn’t,” I told her.
“I don’t drink coffee,” she said, “so who did?”
“It wasn’t me,” I said, “it turns itself on.” I wasn’t lying, our coffee maker does that.
I know for a fact that I flipped the OFF switch after pouring my last cup of coffee. I also remember watching the little green indicator light go dark. Now it is back on.
It does not surprise me because the coffee maker has been acting strange for weeks. Most of our minor appliances are doing the same. I think it is the electricity.
Maybe it is caused by the windmills. At night, their aviation lights pulsate eerily across the entire horizon – twinkling like malevolent red stars. Nothing good can come of that.
Some old farmers swear it is the high tension wires. They say the prairie wind strums them like a guitar and plays a bitter tune composed in the loneliest reaches of Canada.
Others say you have to consider where the power has been.
It courses through abandoned farm sites where it wicks up the loneliness of uncared for, unloved and unwanted buildings. Not much good can come of that either.
But whatever it is, there is something in that power that is not entirely electrical.
I first noticed it when the coffee maker was new. When I poured fresh water into the reservoir – it hissed at me. I thought nothing of it, figuring the ON switch was inadvertently flipped during shipping.
But it occurs too often for happenstance and all of our appliances have been acting up.
Then last evening something went bump in the night.
At first we blamed the cats.
The cats are supposed to stay off our kitchen counter – but they never do. As soon as we are out of sight, they jump up there. At night, they stroll about the counter as if it were a promenade.
We know they do this because they knock things over.
Soon after midnight, one cat howled and the other yowled as the blender shattered on the kitchen tiles. Both cats high-tailed it to the basement as we came out to investigate.
That was when my wife shot me her accusatory glance and I denied leaving the coffee maker on.
“You can’t deny that,” she said, pointing.
Across the kitchen, the coffee maker hotplate crackled, blue sparks danced out the back and the ON indicator glowed at us harshly.
“One of these days,” she said, “you’re going to burn the house down.”
“Honey…” I said.
“It’s not plugged in.”