From my armchair on the
other side of the room, I hear the rhythmic hiss
of my steam iron. I put down my magazine. Iron
Man is just finishing my pleated skirt with great
Glancing up at me, he asks:
Are you on your own?
My husband, Gerald,
died a year ago.
Sod my wife. We
had a dry cleaning business. I couldnt face
it without Annette, so I sold up and started
Hire an Ironman. Youre my first
customer. He grins. Be gentle with me.
He rests the iron and holds
up the skirt. Hows that look?
His face creases into a
I write out a cheque.
Thank you so much. Ive been too
depressed to tackle that silly little mountain.
Impulsively, I hug him at
the door, but its like hugging Tin Man in
The Wizard of Oz. I squeeze him a little, then
step back and gaze into his moist blue eyes.
he says. Its a year since a woman
held me. Im not up to much. My friends tell
me to harden up.
If only there was a
way to iron out crinkles in my mind, he
I gently draw him to me and
he rests his head on my shoulder, relaxing as I
stroke the back of his neck.
Maybe there is,
I say. For both of us. But good things take
courage. And time. Would you like a coffee?