Birthday suit

Page 53… in a fiction series

Miranda left Petoskey after her successful meeting with Tiller, singing ”Bohemian Rhapsody”– the opera section–  louder than usual.  Back in Charlevoix, she stopped at Jack’s Steakhouse and ordered a Reuben for lunch, not even thinking about a cold beer.  (So far, there were no shakes, sweats, or cravings.  Giving up alcohol wasnt’ as hard as the thought…) 

Before she left the office, Tiller said she would need a proper business wardrobe, several suits on hand in case she was working out-of-town and needed to stay. He offered her an advance against her pay, enough to buy her favorite labels, plus proper shoes and a handbag.  Miranda trembled with excitement, praying that her new job would not get off to a reckless, manic start.   

She finished one last greasy fry, headed down to the Boat Basin, and greeted Neil Lipman who was smoking by the lady’s room.  Miranda ducked inside, took off her black pumps and delicate ultra-sheer hose, then carried them down the dock barefoot, determined not to fall and damage her fine accessories. Even though the snow had melted, the dock was really cold.

“Have you lost your mind, Miranda?  Finally snapped?  The shoes go on your feet, not on your hands.”  Luke hiked up his jeans revealing L.L. Bean duck boots to prove his point.

“Hi Luke,” she said unfazed.

Ron shouted, “Hey, where’ve you been?  It’s not like you to roll out of bed before noon.”

“I got a job, Ron!   A really good job, and I start Monday!”

“I can’t believe it, Miranda,” Luke bellowed.  “You mean someone actually fell for that fake resume?”

“It isn’t fake.”

“Is to.”

“Is not!  I’m going aboard my boat now, Luke, because my toes are freezing, and I want to tune out the sound of your lovely voice.”

“Yeh, sure.  Just remember Monday morning not to show up at work barefoot.  Even your fake resume won’t get you out of that one.”

As Luke’s voice faded like a distant clanging gong, Miranda counted out her lithium pills on the counter.  Her days of skipping doses were over.  She pulled on her brown work boots, a stylish look with her suit, and returned to the dock with all her bottles.  The dockmates took the liquor off her hands, impressed that she was willing to give up her stash.  Maybe there was hope for Miranda after all… 

Today was Miranda’s birthday, and besides landing a job, she couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate than Grand Traverse Mall.  Shopping always made her think of Harry.  He had such good taste, and loved to see her all dressed up. She wished he was there to help her pick out a new birthday suit.  He would have liked that.

With an armload of proper clothes still on the hangers and several glossy shopping bags, Miranda returned to her boat rejoicing, just like it says in Psalm 96, the one she read last night.  Although it was dark, something drew her out to the end of the pier.  She sat quietly, feet dangling off the edge, and looked out into the cold.  With limited experience praying to anyone, including the ambiguous ”Higher Power” of Alcoholics Anonymous, she took a moment to thank God.  Though she didn’t know Him well, she hoped He was listening.

 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; 
                                            the LORD accepts my prayer.  Psalms 6:9 (NIV)

To be continued…

*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.



© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

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16 Responses to Birthday suit

  1. Jan says:

    Ohhh! One of my favorite verses, such a rock to cling to at the worst of times, and a source of elation in the good times. I’m so excited for Miranda.

  2. Larry Who says:

    “…She pulled on her brown work boots, a stylish look with her suit…”

    Miranda is a fashion maven. (Maven is a word I’ve been wanting to use, so I did.)

    Okay, I’m ready. Let’s turn the page.

    • Linda says:

      It’s uncanny… Maven has been one of my favorite words since my advertising days. And yes, it suits Miranda perfectly! : )

  3. Theresa says:

    I can’t imagine how excited Miranda was. I’m looking forward to the next post.


    • Linda says:

      I’m looking forward to the next one, too… especially since I haven’t started it yet. Just like Logan’s Run. : )

  4. Debbie says:

    I got goosebumps with this one, Linda. Especially at the end . . .and that verse! Wow oh wow! God bless you as you keep this going, moving us along closer to Him with each post! love and prayers!

    • Linda says:

      I got goosebumps, too. Wow. I remember that night really well. In a small way, without anyone to guide her, it was a big step for Miranda. ; )

  5. Ann says:

    Thank you, Linda

    This is beautifully warm and encouraging. I am happy for Miranda :-)

    Love that verse from Psalms. Thanks for adding.


    P.S. Thanks for your continued prayers.

  6. Jim says:

    Linda, I love this
    With limited experience praying to anyone, including the ambiguous ”Higher Power” of Alcoholics Anonymous, she took a moment to thank God. Though she didn’t know Him well, she hoped He was listening.
    The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
    the LORD accepts my prayer. Psalms 6:9 (NIV)
    sometimes there is only one word that comes to my feeble mind, “WOW”!

    • Linda says:

      Hi Jim… At age 35 I was still saying the same bedtime prayer as a five year old. I really went out on a limb, praying on the dock that night. The thing is, I was pretty sure God was real, but I only wanted Him there when I needed him. I wanted some leeway to live my life and have some fun. And when I got in a jam, I prayed– like crashing a bicycle and asking God for a new one.

      Miranda still has to learn that God is not Santa Claus.

      P.S. Hope you’re still excited about school. I’m praying that you’ll find balance and peace while you’re doing so much at once. Let me know if there’s more… : )

  7. Linda, I like this installment of the story. It’s full of hope – real hope! I have to share a little story about Bohemian Rapsody, though. Last month driving home from the arcade with my son and 2 of his friends for his birthday, the four of us sung along to the entire song at the top of our lungs. It was so much fun! Hard to believe kids his age still listen to that song. :)

    Looking forward to the next installment, which I’m going to read right after I check on dinner. Peace, Linda

    • Linda says:

      I had reservations about using that song in my post. I did some research and learned that there are as many interpretations as there are people on the planet. My thought lies in the phrase, “pulled MY trigger now he’s dead…” If he was shooting someone else, he would have said “pulled THE trigger.” This was a near suicide.

      The guy obviously was hooked on drugs and alcohol… “sends shivers down my spine, body’s aching all the time.” Symptoms of withdrawal, no doubt. And the stuff about the devil, he’s fighting, seeking redemption. And he makes it to the end of the song.

      I have too much time on my hands. Love your comment. : )

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