Day 48 – May 22, 2014

Our family does not communicate much, and when we do, it is by indirection. We inquire about absent brothers. We critique the news. Direct questions would be far too scary.

I told parents that I would build an art project in the basement. Yesterday afternoon, I hauled out cut PVC pipe, an inflatable exercise ball, a purple fabric cover, plastic cones, wires, and lights.

Father saw me laboriously pumping up the exercise ball with a bicycle pump. He retrieved from the garage an electric car-tire inflator. He moved objects aside to give me space and wanted to know more about the purple fabric cover. Mother mowed the rear yard.

I put the octahedron together, hung it from an overhead pipe joist, and stealthily went upstairs. I let my art speak for me. Although my surprised family can not figure out what the octahedron does, yet they appreciate it.

After dinner, I showed my father the electronic guts of the octahedron. Unfortunately, a power line had snapped on the control board. Dad retrieved an old soldering iron and a cast-iron pan to rest it on. Fifty years ago, he printed and sold circuit boards for mass spectrometers. Through soldering tonight, we had made contact.