I assemble the icosahedron. The only space left empty in this house is the underutilized living room, so I haul up parts from the basement. I tie PVC pipes together in 5-point vertices. The thirty pipes do indeed form an icosahedron. I inflate the green exercise ball with a loud air compressor until the ball touches the midpoint of every icosahedral edge. Brother Rob ventures out of his lair to locate the source of my racket. I number the twenty faces, attach the light controllers, and cut to length twenty pieces of phone cord.
The ball will crush the bottom-most cones so I lift the framework on top of the living room coffee table. I drape the red-and-white fabric cover over the PVC framework. I laboriously insert 20 cones and 20 lights. The cover fits the framework well. Ah, geometry.
My parents and brother are quite surprised by the undersea mine now in lurking in the living room, but they understand better my project. When the sun dives lower in the sky and the living room grows darker, I plug in the sculpture. All twenty lights turn on. Fiat Lux. My brother comments wryly, “And it lights up too!?”
I spend the evening communicating to the icosahedron through a wireless control box. I shake out software bugs and make the light patterns more pleasing. The dodecahedron can command the icosahedron colors. My father checks in amazed. I think I reached him.
The Platonic solids project may be mostly done now. I need to find extension cords, car batteries, and rope.
As I leave tomorrow on a bus to New York City, I probably should not clog up the living room with the giant spore of the icosahedron. Right after breakfast, I pull off the fabric cover and break down the project. My father stops by confused and sad. He wanted a few more days to savor. We both know how fleeting wanes my stay out east.