"What's that?" I asked Marta as we walked into her garage.
"That's my spaceship," she said, "that's what I'm going to fly away in...
"I'm going to become the first intergalactic space tourist. I'll explore the galaxy, see the sights, and take photos, which I'll pin up above my bed. Along the way I'll hook up with green-skinned alien lovers from a planets with names like Ophellious and Nymphonia, and they'll fall in love with me, but I'll by then I'll be heading out of orbit onto my next conquest...
"I'm going to take on space faring bad guys while escaping the gambling debts I accumulated on the scummiest of pleasure planets.
"And for fun, I'll parachute from orbit above planets covered with soft blue moss, bounce across low gravity moons and hang glide on the solar winds.
"Until one year I find the perfect person for me in the entire universe, and we'll build a house on a hill with dark green grass and orange skies, and we'll drink sweet violet wine that evaporates on your tongue. Then we'll have children who have gold skin and smell like strawberries. At night we'll sit on the grass under the unfamiliar star field and I'll realize I don't know which one of those stars is the Earth, and I won't care because I'm happy."
She sighed, and I looked at the half finished spaceship propped up in the middle of the garage. From somewhere outside, carried on a late summer breeze, came the distant sound of children playing in the street.
"Can I come too?" I suddenly asked. The loudness of my voice surprised me.
She looked at me carefully. I noticed she had a patch of engine grease on her cheek. It looked good on her.
"Sure," she said, handing me a wrench, "I could use a copilot."