My Window Is Open

Nancy Daley
4 min readSep 28, 2022

Finally and at long last.

Marco and Lucy prefer to patrol the street from an open window. (Author’s photo)

I’ve lived in Austin, Texas since 1984. Coming from Connecticut, in August of course (because university moves always take place in August), I do have some sense of what hot weather is like. That first year I would come home from classes on the no-AC shuttle bus and go straight to sleep. It’s a wonder I did any homework at all.

Throughout my time in grad school, my then-spouse and I would de-camp in May and head to California where we would split our time among his grad school friends and of course my best friend his ex-girlfriend.

It’s good to have friends who cover many relationship bases, but I still haven’t recovered from that time when my ex’s friend Stuart’s ex picked all the strawberries out of the ice cream carton with her fingers. Maybe extended families can extend a little too far.

Well but I digress. It’s all to let you know that I remember the days when turning on utilities meant time in phone booths hot as pizza ovens. And since the car came from Santa Barbara, of course it had no AC. Reach a destination drenched, enter a building cooled to arctic conditions, leave building with frozen shoes and bracelets, be drenched by the time you get back to the car…fun times.

One August we moved into a new duplex. Somehow we figured out that our phone calls were going to the apartment next door. I made it to a pizza oven and called the phone company.

I see that is a working number, said the operator. Remember operators?

Yes, but it is not working in my house, it is working next door, I sweated.

I see that is a working number, she replied.

Sometimes there is nothing to do in such situations but start to cry. The operator said they would send someone over. Sooner or later. Which was fortunate as by this time I was too dehydrated to see in color.

So in a way I understand why, in all these years in all the houses I have visited, the number of times I can remember windows being open is precisely one. I guess if I were a native Texan from a long line of native Texans, I would never want that heat in my house again either.

In my suburb there are plenty of houses with windows that don’t even look like they open, many…

Nancy Daley

Artist, food-worshipper, grouch, retired psychologist and uni lecturer (Human Sexuality). Currently running for Queen of the Universe.