“When I grow up I wanna be a space ship.”
“Oh, don’t be silly, Sam” my parents said, “You’re a boy. You can’t be a space ship.”
“I could, too!” I replied. “I could have rockets and boosters and big letters down my side that say U.S.S. Samson – Space Cruiser Extraordinaire.”
They glanced at each other from the corners of their eyes then smiled back at me, cheerfully suggesting, “How would you like to be an astronaut instead? Why, you could fly to the moon or to Mars one day. You could be a hero! Wouldn’t that be great?”
“Why would I want to be a passenger when I could be the actual ship?” I argued. “I’d rather be an asteroid than an astronaut.”
They laughed. “You couldn’t possibly be an asteroid, that makes no sense.”
“How hard is it to be an asteroid?” I asked. “All an asteroid does is float around in space. I could be a star, too. All stars do is sit there and burn.”
“You’re a human boy, Sam,” they explained. “You can’t be anything other than that.”
“But, that’s not fair! You told me I could be anything I wanted to be.”
“Of course you can. You can be a doctor or a scientist or a musician or an athlete or–”
“A galaxy!” I smiled, gazing up at the sky.
“I would be the brightest, most colourful, most spinny and twirly galaxy of them all! I would have happy stars and angry stars. Smart ones and stupid ones and crazy ones, of course. There would be bouncy planets and prickly planets, metal planets and wooden planets with mahogany moons and hickory comets flying all around!”
My parents frowned down upon me, their eyes sharp and cold. “No, Sam. You cannot.”
I bunched my fists and stared at my feet. I was furious. They were wrong, I thought to myself. They had to be. I could be anything. I, Sam, could be, and would be, a universe. A universe made of concrete with petrol powered mechanical aliens living on aluminum rim planets with lug nuts for poles.