Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mrs. Icarus

For months, Icarus takes up the entire garage and driveway to build a pair of enormous wings.

He enlists the opinions of his guy friends.

Six or seven of them stand around on a Saturday afternoon, staring at Icarus' half-built contraption.

"I'd use balsa," pronounces one.

"No, your balsa wood is too light. I'd go with your teak or your cherry wood," opines another.

"Or mahogany," intones a third, and six bill caps swivel toward him scornfully. "Or not."

"Look, shithead, it's not a fuckin' flyin' desk," explains the fattest one, helpfully.

Mrs. Icarus hardly sees her husband, and when she does, he is buried under a layer of sawdust and epoxy.

She asks him, "How's it going out there?"

He says something about struts and heads to the refrigerator.

Icarus' work-in-progress merits spreads in Amateur Aviation Monthly and Cockpit.

Icarus receives advice from any number of men, all beginning with, "What you've got to do is..." or "What you've got to understand is..."

There is a lot of nodding and placing of feet firmly apart.

A lot of rather hairy arms get crossed, or reach to point out a flaw.

There is a lot of calling each other "dumb motherfucker", followed by hearty laughter.

Finally the day arrives when Icarus is ready to try the new wings he has labored so long on.

He soars, up with the birds!

He rises, closer and closer to the sun!

Then the special wax he ordered from the J.C. Whitney catalog melts and he and his wings drop like a piano in a cartoon.

"Dumb motherfucker," say his friends.

The following year, Mrs. Icarus decides to build some wings.

She works on them whenever she has a minute.

Her friends ask her if she is okay, if she is keeping busy.

"Mhm," she says, and sips her coffee.

Mrs. Icarus uses stuff she had in her sewing basket,

Some sheets that she found on sale,

And Feather-Brite from the Joanne Fabric store.

Lots of Feather-Brite.

So, one Tuesday night in June, after work, after dinner, she decides to try out her wings.

Her dog thinks this is a fine idea.

Her son says, "Don't crash. I need a ride to the mall."

Mrs. Icarus kisses them both and up she goes.

She stays up.

A dozen bill caps turn toward the sky, and their owners are finally speechless.

Their dozen wives look up and shriek and smile and wave like maniacs.

Mrs. Icarus waggles her wings at them.

Upon landing, there is laundry to fold, and a dog to be walked.

There is a child to be driven to the mall.

He lets her pull right up to the front entrance where all his friends can see. This is astonishing.

"Have fun, Daedalus," she says as he opens the passenger door.

She knows better than to try to kiss him, but he does turn around for a moment to give her a wink.

He is fourteen.

He is proud of his mom.

She pulls away from the curb smiling, happy in the knowledge of what it feels like to fly.



Lou said...

This is the cutest ever. I felt like I was in the garage with those Mofo's.

g-man said...

I get it....*wink*

You Rock Shay....G

Daryl said...

BRAVA ... women rock, roll and fly!!

pheromone girl said...

I'd say I'm speechless, but I can't stop saying Wow.

Riot Kitty said...

Very sweet :)

Jannie Funster said...

Just the best poet on Zee Entire Web.

Mama Zen said...

I love this one, Shay!

Scarlet said...

We can do ANYTHING! :)

Pouty Lips said...

This is instantly in my top ten of yours. Bravo!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

I've always wanted to be able to fly; your words make the impossible seem probable!! Thanks for this.

dustus said...

Worthy of a hairy armed salutes from the man cave.

Claudia said...

mrs. icarus sounds like a woman after my own heart...kudos mrs. fireblossom!

Marian said...

yeah, wow, you got this just perfect, every piece and layer and emotion, it's perfect. i am quite impressed!

hedgewitch said...

You are killin me, girl. If only the Greeks had had some Feather-Brite, and put his wife on the project, this whole thing might have worked out differently.

ayala said...

So cool,Shay !

signed...bkm said...

Great flying here Shay....I am going to Joanna's today and get me some of that Feather Brite.....takes for your input on my Bears....I see them everywhere...(they are after me)...bkm

Beachanny said...

This soars, Shay. Like your words I'm there in the bubble burbia where housewives can still teach their sons a thing or two, when instructing their husbands is past possible. Excellent as always!!!

Monika said...

Wow, wow, wow!! Absolutely rocking!

Julie Jordan Scott said...

love how you took the graffiti Icarus words and ran (flew?) with it....

Ned Francis said...

Excellent work! Almost fell out of my chair. Almost gave me the energy to go clean my garage. Decided to walk the dog instead.

Anonymous said...

Rock on! This was fabulous, Shay; damn nice tale, indeed. Gotta say, though, I dig the visual of the "six billed caps" brilliant!!

Lolamouse said...

You know you've done something awe inspiring when your 14 year-old allows you to be seen in front of his friends! And you are most definitely the one to write the story, Ms. Shay!

jen revved said...

Cockpit Magazine. Major LOL. xj

flaubert said...

Leave it to a woman to figure it out. I loved this, Shay.


Patricia said...

Ha! You've spent a lot of time with brothers, fathers, husbands, sons... whatever, you had this down to a tee. I loved the voice. Amazing.