Airy the air conditioner and I sit down at the local coffee shop to continue our interview for its memoir. In the comments of my last blog post, a few people thought it was stupid that Airy uses gender-neutral pronouns, and in response, I say this. How would you feel if you were, say, a toaster with no distinct gender? Does it really matter what pronouns Airy uses?
At the coffee shop, I say, “Airy, last time we spoke, you mentioned an air conditioning service technician from Sydney. Could you tell me a bit more about your relationship with him?”
“Well,” Airy says, and I feel a bit of a chill, “I like to think of it as less of a relationship, and more of a friendship. We truly bonded over the few years he rented out my house. But, as with all friendships, there is no commitment. That’s why they can be more appealing than relationships. Eventually, Bob thought it time to move on. We argued, but I realised he does not owe anything to me. I thought there was a connection there that ran deeper than words could ever express. Maybe it’s just an air conditioning thing. He did give me excellent air conditioning repairs. Sydney air conditioners everywhere were quite jealous.”
It is clear that this is a very deep, personal topic, and I appreciate Airy opening up to me like this. A waiter, who has clearly been listening in, comes over to take our order. She offers her condolences to Airy and it ignores her, ordering a black coffee.
“Do you always take your coffee black?” I ask. Airy laughs and says, “Don’t you? I find it’s the only way to drink it.”
I don’t bother to ask about how it drinks coffee in the first place. Instead, I move onto a different topic. Its creator. The temperature drops about ten degrees, and several patrons of the shop shiver.
“We should speak about that another time,” Airy says cooly. I let the topic fall away, and the rest of our interview passes quickly. I can’t help but wonder, though. Who created this magnificent piece of technology?