You can tell the outdoor temperature by counting how many windows I’ve opened in my studio here at the Millay Colony. I have five windows, all screened, which—coupled with my room’s extensive book collection, which includes a massive collection of Shakespeare’s complete works—arguably means I have the best studio.
If I’ve only opened one window—though it’s still early spring outside Albany, NY, I always open at least one window because of the greenhouse effect here in the main building—that means it’s in the low to mid-50s.
So if I’ve opened one and left it open, it’s in the upper-50s to low-60s.
If I’ve opened two, it’s at least 65. Two-window days are solid.
The problem is, or was, that if even one window is cracked, the door to my studio sways, creaks, and clicks into and out of frame ad nauseam. Because music is too distracting when I write, and my studio opens into the common area, where all the other residents hang out, my hyperactive closed door is incredibly distracting.
So on my second day here I started piling pillows in front of the door. I have a long cushioned bench for naps, with six pillows and a navy blue blanket, so I usually pile five of the six, leaving the last one for my napping head. Besides keeping the door in place, the pillows have a barricading effect. At least once a day I want to leave the room to throw my apple core away, or refill my water, or because I half-have to pee, but I’m too lazy to move all those pillows. They’re kind of heavy; otherwise they’d never make it as doorstops.
But today is the first three-window day. It’s 72 degrees outside but feels much warmer here in the building. And frankly, I’m not sure three windows is going to cut it. But if I open four, or, god help me, five windows, will even the full battery of six pillows keep the door in place?
I guess there’s always Shakespeare.
Evan Allgood's work has appeared in McSweeney's, The Millions, LA Review of Books, The Toast, and The Billfold. He lives in Brooklyn and contributes regularly to Paste. Follow and maybe later unfollow him on Twitter @evoooooooooooo.