Author : Kathy Kachelries, Staff Writer
My husband doubts the existence of history. I wonder why I married this man.
When I woke up to the banshee-screech of a bandsaw, I assumed we were getting another door. He likes that too, building doors. But, when I came downstairs in a yellow bathrobe hoping he’d brewed a morning pot, I found no coffeemaker. In fact, I found no kitchen appliances. Nor did I find a husband, though a sign reading “time machine” was taped to the garage door.
“Progress calls, sweetheart,” he yelled from the garage. “Many scientific innovations have failed due to lack of funding.”
“You don’t believe in history.”
“I believe that history, if it exists at all, is subjective, but more likely, each instant is a singular point of awareness suspended in-”
“All right, honey,” I said.
“It’s entirely different,” he said. “Also, don’t go into the garage.”
One might wonder how my husband learned so much about time, space, or mechanical engineering. Since most modern philosophers discount his beliefs about the former two and he still hasn’t fixed the dishwasher (won’t, now), one might do well to dismiss that curiosity.
But if he is anything, it’s determined.
After returning from Starbucks with the sense of patience possessed only by those who expect their wealthy in-laws to replace their kitchen appliances, I was greeted by a man with curly, powdered hair.
“Bonjour, madame,” he said.
I knocked on the door to the garage. “There is a Frenchman in my kitchen,” I said.
“Well, so long as you know.”
“Thanks, dear,” he said.
My husband isn’t good with sarcasm.
I sat the man in the living room, set the television to Nickelodeon, and went upstairs to read. I let my husband deal with his own problems, until the police or fire department get involved.
When I finished my book, the living room was filled with Frenchmen. Again, I knocked on the garage door.
“There are more Frenchmen,” I said.
“Where did they come from?”
I needed more coffee. “Did you invent a time machine?” I asked him.
“Even though you don’t believe in time?”
“Are you going to send them back?”
“As soon as I invent an un-time machine,” he told me.
“Maybe you should invent someone who knows what they’re doing.”
The silence suggested he believed that science did not concern women.
Since I couldn’t cook without an oven, stove, or microwave, I ordered pizza for the Frenchmen. All in all, they didn’t seem disturbed by the displacement-in-time thing.
The next day, I found not just Frenchmen, but several Russians as well.
“Honey, there are Russians in my living room,” I said.
“I know.” I heard a whirring sound, then a thud. “I’ve almost got the ‘specific time’ thing down.”
“And this will empty out my living room?”
“I’m getting Americans next,” he said. “I heard that they both did some crazy stuff during the Cold War.”
“It’s not like I believed in history,” he said, cross.
I went to buy coffee. I also bought several boxes of donuts. The Frenchmen were still transfixed by the television. The Russians, from several points in time, were eagerly exchanging stories. In the garage, my husband was negotiating his own little cold war. I took a leisurely stroll and had reached the town park when the solution occurred to me. I hurried home to tell my husband.
“Dear,” I said.
“I’m busy, darling.”
“Why don’t you invent a future time machine, and ask someone how to do it right?”
There was a long silence. “I don’t believe in the future, sweetheart,” he said.
The voices in the garage resumed.