to the milky way

by underswansea

take off

Got the spaceship built. It was easier than everybody thought. NASA with all their fancy thinking never did figure it out. We made the floor out of rough-hewn mill ends, 2” x 14” tamarack; we knew they had to be strong. They were of various sizes, not one over 2 ft. Like I said, they were mill ends. We were doing the best with what we had. We toe-nailed them with roofing nails – galvanized. Stolen from a condo development being put up beside the lake.

We built it like an upside down canoe. For the ribs we used juniper. We covered it with birch bark. We weren’t sure if it could stand reentry. But we didn’t give a shit. We just wanted to get to the stars. When it came time to come home, well, we would figure it out. That’s the way we thought, and that’s the way you have to think, when you start such a project.

We boiled fir pitch and slathered it on the cracks. A couple big holes I plugged with moss. I didn’t tell anybody, because I knew they wouldn’t have approved. It’s funny how particular people get when you are building a space ship. They want everything just right!

From the old wrecking yard we got some seats from a station wagon and a steering wheel from a smashed up cop car. Jane found a handgun without any bullets, so we took that with us too.

Robbie grabbed the four-barrel carburetor from under the hood, said, “This will get us off the ground!”

It was dark when we returned to the ship. The time was right. We dashed the stars, tumbling down like burning embers.

It was good, the floor was strong. The tamarack held and so did the birch. The moss did its job. Robbie was right about that carb. I can’t believe I doubted him. The seats are comfortable, but I wished we had seat belts on take off.

They say you feel lighter in space. Like I said, don’t believe everything NASA says. Rob just went to lie down, trusting me to the wheel. The last time he did that I ran into a snow bank. Jane keeps waving the pistol around pretending she is going to shoot me. She is hyper, bouncing around. I’m glad the gun isn’t loaded. Maybe she will get tired and kiss me.

The stars still seem a ways off. Still, it’s good to be off the ground.