Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Voisins gênants: The open window

There is a house I see every day. It is a classic 1970s split level house. Three people live there. A man in his sixties, and two women in their forties. The man works in the day time, the brunette woman works at night, and wears scrubs to work, and the blonde - she is gone for about three hours every morning, but I'm not sure she's working. I know nothing about these people except that their glass recycling bin is usually pretty full, what cars they drive, they don't know how to winterize their garden, that their garage is packed to the gills, and that one of the bedroom windows on the second floor is always open. What do I mean by "always open"? Well, the first time I really noticed it was in early December when we were having record cold days, highs of 16 F, and there it was, staring out from the house all wide open, with a fan in the window sill. Day and night, that window is always open. Rain, snow or sunshine, that window is always open. Sometimes the fan that is permanently on the window sill is on, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the wooden blinds are up to reveal a pink sheet of fabric hanging. Sometimes there is a can of Dr. Pepper, or two in the window sill next to the little tchotchkes. People are going in and out of this room, but whether it is 54 F like today's high, or 5 F like some of those chilliest of nights, the window is open. Also, they have newish vinyl windows on their house, so it's not like they wouldn't be gaining anything by closing the window.

Why am I telling you this? The last time I had a situation with my neighbors that I couldn't figure out, dear, smart Whitney, cracked an egg of knowledge on my head, and pieced together a common sense solution that I hadn't thought of (probably because I'm never really good at thinking about holidays or what date it is). I have pieced together all sorts of situations for the inhabitants of the house, siblings, Three's Company, Kate & Allie, bigamy, etc. but I cannot for the life of me figure out why a window has been open non-stop during a cold, wet winter in Portland. What is here that I'm not seeing? What am I too naive to figure out?


Jenny said...

It could just be a personal preference of the person living in that room. I had a roommate who always liked to have his bedroom window open. He just liked the fresh air, the air flow, and said he slept better in a cool room. He would rather put an extra blanket on the bed when it got cold, rather than close the window. When it got really cold, he would close it to only an inch or two open, but it gets colder here than you do.

It could also be that someone in the house keeps the temperature too warm for the person in that room, so she keeps it open to cool it off. I live in a top floor apartment, and on all but the coldest days, I leave my heat off and a window cracked open or it gets too warm. The heat from the apartments below me is enough to keep mine warm.

Also they may be a smoker and leave it open to air the smell out.

Flexible2 said...

What a write you are! I wish someone would crack and 'egg of knowledge' on MY head!
I thikyou mystery fols are liky polar bear ice swmmers on a budget. No travel or accomodation expense. Grab a popsicle,open the window, close the vents, dress for the dip and voila'. They have their arctic vacation