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.