I am always cold in my apartment, which is the top floor of a single-family brownstone that has been converted into three units. I don’t know just how cold it is in winter since I don’t have a built-in thermostat. I only have an old radiator that churns out the minutest amount of hot air when I turn it on. This is what you get in old buildings in New York and you must suffer through it. I make the best of it with blankets and a thick quilt, but when I am out and about in my rooms, I am freezing. I also bought a wool robe in a large size to go over my clothes. I have asked the landlord to seal the windows from the cold air that inevitably seeps in and that has helped. I still wish I could be warmer when at home. New Yorkers live in the streets and eat meals out, but I am home learning lines in the evening. As an actress, I must always be honing my skills.
It got so bad last week that I think I called my mother ten times. I am sure she thinks I am a pest, but she always listens to my complaints with open ears. She is my pal and confidante. I think I must have made a big impression since I got a package yesterday from her. She came to my rescue with a brand-new electric space heater. It is not a dinky desktop model, but of sufficient size to heat a big room. When it has been on for about a half an hour and I return from an audition or rehearsal, the space has been thawed out and I can take off my heavy winter coat. I can stretch out on the sofa and even remove my shoes. Maybe I keep on my socks.
The space heater has been a godsend since lately the radiator seems to be on the blink. It is not operating well up to par. I think a note to the landlord is in order. He came over the next morning and surveyed the scene. But you have a nice space heater, he muttered. You should be plenty warm enough. That was pure evasion. I want more heat, I proclaimed, hoping this pronouncement would have some effect. If it means I don’t have to hear you complaining, I will send a repairman. I was smiling inside. The radiator was fixed to perfection and blared great heat. I didn’t remove my space heater, however, but just moved it to the bedroom. It could now be as toasty warm as my small living space and adjacent kitchen. If you live in a cold climate and don’t have central heating, this is your answer. Take it from me that it is an economical solution. Share the expense with your roommate or just suck it up and buy one for yourself.