Next on my list was taking care of my father’s shirt so it would feel fresh for tonight. I had washed it early that morning and hung it to dry on a hanger. Now I asked the next-door neighbor, a matronly, stout woman, to let me borrow her ironing board. There I stood, half-naked, squirting drops of water onto the collar, listening to them hiss and fizzle as I pressed the hot iron all the way around so as to loosen the bonds in the cotton fibers. There, no more wrinkles! The fabric straightened under my pressure and I knew it would hold its shape as it cooled.
All dressed up for my date I returned the board and asked the neighbor for the last item on my list, namely, recommendations for restaurants in the city. The one that stood out from the rest of them was a little brick saloon on Third Avenue that had opened its doors as far back as 1884.
“It’s a great little place,” said my neighbor. “And it has its own little quirks.”
“Such as what?”
“Such as the human leg bones over the door.”
“Really?” I asked, wondering if Natasha would appreciate such a morbid object, fearing that this in itself might ruin the promise of a romantic evening.
“Really,” she said. “I think it’s an Irish talisman of luck.”
“Yes,” I said, mostly to myself. “That’s what I need, tonight of all nights. Luck!”
Lenny in The Music of Us
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