Monday, October 17, 2016

Let's Play

When I was five, my cousin got a new playhouse. You know, one of those little prefab structures to sit in the yard and let her imagine a future of domestic servitude? My parents were worried because they couldn’t afford to buy me one and thought I might be jealous.

I laughed when my mother broached the subject of my theoretical envy. “I have a house, Mom. I don’t need a smaller one.”

She smiled at me and turned to her mother. “See, she’s fine.”

Grandma gave me a long look. “So, you really don’t want a playhouse of your very own? Not even for your birthday?”

I snorted, rude in the way that only the very young can get away with. “No. I want a spaceship.”

“A spaceship?” she replied slowly.

“Yep!” My neck nearly snapped with the enthusiasm of my nod. “I want to travel to other planets and meet aliens!”

I never got my spaceship, but it’s all I can think of as I look into the yard of the house we’re checking out. “Honey,” I tell my husband. “A spaceship!”

“That’s cool,” he says. But he doesn’t run up to it with me, and doesn’t act like we should buy this property without even walking inside the house.

“I’ve always wanted a spaceship!”

His lips curl up. “Then you shall have a spaceship. But, I’m not sure this is the one.”

“Are you kidding?” I run my hand over the side of the glorious thing. Although it looks like metal, the outside is actually some form of plastic. This means there’s no rot or rust, so even though it obviously hasn’t been maintained, it’s not falling apart or dangerous. It just needs a good cleaning. And maybe an exterminator. “It’s perfect.”

Carlton looks at our realtor as I stick my head inside the saucer. “Do you think they’d sell just the spaceship?”

She laughs. “We can ask. I know they were planning on leaving it.”

A light blinks on a panel across from the door. “Oh!” I say. “It still works!”

“Works?” Carlton asks. “What do you mean?”

I’m busy climbing into the spaceship, but I answer over my shoulder, “There are electronics in here.”

“I don’t know that they’re safe,” he answers. “Something this old, and outdoors… Be careful.”

I love the man, but sometimes he really isn’t much fun.

My phone illuminates the interior of the ship. It’s small, but oddly comfortable. Cozy even. I can easily see myself putting some floor pillows in here and spending the day reading classic sci-fi. The panel with the blinking light on it is smooth save for the bulb and something in the shape of a hand.

I smile to myself as I place my palm on the panel.

I stop smiling as the entire room brightens and swirling noises fill the air. The spaceship hums to life, and the doorway slides closed.
Through the portals, I can see Carlton yelling, but his voice doesn’t make it through the hull.

As the ship rises into the air, I realize I’m finally getting my interplanetary adventure. And I think I still want it.

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