Edward Frostwaite: Rocket Man

Edward Frostwaite always wanted something different to happen to him. Not for him was the attraction of a job in a factory. Nor did he want to go into the army and fight wars – because Edward had always wanted to be an astronaut. He saw his life being outside of the Earth, maybe because he found his own life on the Earth not to his liking.

When he was five years of age, and using a bedsheet, he jumped from his grandmother’s roof and spent six months in hospital in traction. All he would say about the experiment was that he had nearly made it – ‘I was so close’.

When he was nine, he strapped a large paper kite to his back, and cycled towards the sea-cliffs. It took the rescue craft several hours to find him, and by then he was already a mile out to sea.

His response to all those who said he was crazy: ‘Well, I’ll know not to try that again’.

Some folks are born in the wrong family, or country, or even the wrong body but Edward knew he was born on the wrong planet. He had a theory that somewhere out there was his real home. He believed that Earth had been populated by travelers from another planet, and that every so often this alien DNA would surface in a person and make them feel homesick.

At sixteen years of age, he built a rocket and successfully sent a pizza – that his mother had made – into space. Well not space really, as he saw the pizza on the roof of the local hospital one day when he was passing by on a bus.

At seventeen, he sent his pet gerbil, Florence, up several hundred feet and she safely returned to the ground assisted by a small parachute. (My lawyer has asked that I remind you, that this should never be attempted with any living creature).

When he was only a few days old, Edward, or the baby as he was known, had been left on a doorstep. There was a note tied to his big toe which said, ‘please look after my child’. The woman who found him was too old to pass as his mother and therefore she called herself, Edward’s grandmother. When Edward was around three years of age, he convinced himself that he had been left on the door step by a passing flying saucer.

He never fitted in, not at school, or at college, or at work. Maybe it was more correct to say that none of those people fitted in with Edward. Because he knew he didn’t come from Earth, he felt that it was a waste of time to try to get on with anyone.

Anytime Edward got close to anyone – close enough to call them a partner – he would confess to them about his belief that he was from outer space, and that was usually enough to end the relationship.

He did meet one person who thought they were also from outer-space , but the person was later arrested for stealing toilet fittings from a local hardware store. Edward didn’t bother to enquire why.

Folks tended to cross the street when Edward passed by, and then giggle or talk about him when they were far enough away. This didn’t hurt Edward, because in his mind this is how humans behaved, and as he knew himself, he wasn’t human (at least not from Earth).

When he was twenty-six years of age, and after having nursed his grandmother through her cancer and her subsequent funeral, he decided enough was enough, and that week was the perfect time to return home.

He went through his grandmother’s fridge and threw out anything that was perishable, then he gave his pet cat, Mr Spock to the next-door neighbour.

On a dull Thursday in June, Edward went up onto the heath with his latest rocket and decided that all the stars were aligned and that a take-off was imminent.

He strapped the rocket to his back, pressed the button which lit it, counted to ten, shouted goodbye and then he was off.

What happened to Edward is still a mystery. Some say he did indeed reach another planet, some say he only managed the edge of the atmosphere and still flies around the Earth every few hours – it has been said that if you find the International Space station, then Edward is a few feet to the North of that.

Others, the unkind ones, say that Edward just exploded on the heath and that was him all over.


bobby stevenson 2017


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