The pile grew, as the day went on. Sweaty armpits, the smell of the sea and sand that stuck to the shorts. Sometimes, changing shirts twice in a day, or more, due to the humidity and the heat. No air conditioning here in the house, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It just means those afternoon naps under the fan are more glorious.
The pile gets larger with each passing hour, seemingly to grow out of nothing, and the pressure to pull out all the things needed to tame it increased. Waiting until a day when it rains, or at least is cloudy, she’d get the old ironing board from the laundry room, it’s heavy metal construction aching as she opened it — fifty years old I guessed. The iron itself, a piece of engineering that I’ve never seen since, filled with water, a brand called “Beautiful Water”, demineralized — so it doesn’t leave spots on the shirts.
She pulls the shades in the living room and the board is set up facing the TV. Afternoon boohaha shows are on, a bit of nothing, but something to listen to. She turns on the fan, blowing the not hot air around the room. The pile is positioned near her on a side table. A stack of hangers nearby.
Shirt by shirt, napkin by napkin, underwear, socks, shorts, pants, collars, sleeves, stretchy bands, pleats, each one neatly heated under the iron until straight, flat, unmessy. Ready for a day out in town, dinner in a restaurant, or simply just because it makes you feel nice, even if at home.