What a plan! I, Elisa Esposito, am going into space!
Now, you might think a six year old girl might lack the skills and experience to do this. But why? Build a spaceship, take off, orbit. How hard can it be?
Spaceship first, no big deal, they’re all over TV. Two pieces of wood and a propeller thingy. One bit of wood to sit on, and one for the wings, done.
Time for action. At a run, I sourced the wood, hammer and nails from the shed. Carefully (I was new to this), I positioned the two pieces across each other. Whack, job done.
With a mixture of fear and excitement I stepped back. Pulsing with aerodynamic potential, all it needed now was the propeller. Fortunately, I had the perfect item, a single, hollow, used lead pellet. It came from a BB gun and the man next door gave it to me. I knew it had magical powers, first because it came from outside our house, and second because it came from a sort of gun. What more could you ask?
A nail through the centre of the pellet, into the nose of my craft, and ship was complete. I sat on it briefly and felt awe at its power. This spaceship was the best, most speedy and high flying spaceship ever. I had made it all on my own. The kids at school, in fact everybody will be wow, super impressed when they see it in action.
One thing’s for sure though, no one’s getting a peak until I’ve flown. Glory could wait, the real goal, the big ticket item, was me going up there, into the black, with the stars and the sun and the moon. Next, the runway!
“Elisa.” came the call from the back door of our house, stern and impatient. Oh crap, I thought. My father. This will be tricky.
I just want you to know, for the record, my dad is really boring. If he knows how to have fun, he must be hiding it. I love him of course, but he gives a lot of advice. Now, when I say a lot, I mean the size of an ocean, a lot. He says he is helping, but sometimes I feel like maybe, I must be beyond help. I mean just about everything I say, do or even think about saying, turns out to be putting me on the “wrong path”. I need to be on the “right path”. He has explained this to me many times. My problem is I don’t know where the edges of either path are. I guess that’s why I keep drifting off and on them. This bugs my dad, big time.
One thing for sure, building a spaceship and going into orbit, before breakfast on a Saturday morning, was almost certainly, dead centre on the wrong path
“Elisa, what are you doing?”
“Ah, nothing.” I tried. Not going to work, as I was plainly, sitting on top of a very amazing and mighty spacecraft.
“You have homework don’t you?” he said. He loved homework,
“No father, it’s all done.”
“Excellent, then you can use the time to get ahead of the class. Leonard will be here at ten, why don’t you impress him by previewing your lessons. Leonard was my tutor, he made my father seem light-hearted and frivolous.
“Yes, I will, but I just want to finish something.”
He was watching me sitting on my spaceship on the garden path. It was a pickle. I desperately needed to get to space, but I didn’t want my father to know about it until I was back. There was a lot of magic at work here and he was just the kind of anti-magic force to spoil it.
“Very well, 15 minutes.” and then he was gone. I took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. OK let’s do this.
With chalk from my pocket, I marked the runway, it was long, I knew it had to be. All the way from the front gate, right around the house, and into the back garden.
Crunch time. My plan had come together, and I marvelled at how, every step of the way, I’d known what to do. I guess it was my first, really genuine, inspiration. The plan so clear and ordered, simple but wonderful. I now realised the universe was truly amazing, with layers of mysterious and amazing things existing all around me, just begging to be grabbed.
It was time. Another deep breath. If I was going to do it, now was the time. I carried my ship to the beginning of the runway, sat down, and faced forward, my stomach doing huge flip flops. I didn’t have a helmet! Won’t I need a helmet? No, it doesn’t matter, I thought with glee. If I make it to space, well, I’ll worry about all that when I get there.
So, with my bravest face on, and a thrill all through my body, I went!