Sober by the Bay

Page 59… in a fiction series

Miranda was proud of herself for staying sober all this time.  She counted up the months and days:  January to May, four months, 16 days, all without Alcoholics Anonymous, a shrink, or any other support group.  While she missed going to the bars and hanging out with her friends, Tiller worked her so hard she wouldn’t have the time anyway.

May was the month her dockage fee at the boat basin ran out.  It was time to run the old Marinette north on Lake Michigan and east into perfect, pristine, Little Traverse Bay.  Harbor Springs was off to port, then Wequetonsing, Labre Croache, and off to starboard, Petoskey.  The city docks would be affordable and closer to work.  Miranda wouldn’t miss walking down the long pier through wind, ice, and snow to get to her job each day.  What on earth was she thinking…

All of the dockmates volunteered to make the trip with her.  To his surprise, she asked Luke to go along that day.  And to Miranda’s surprise, he accepted.  Ron had reconciled with his wife and couldn’t wait to leave his beloved sailboat to go home and resume being a dad to his kids.  

Handsome Greg on his stately Beneteau was making the long trip through the Straits of Mackinac,  south through Lake Huron and the Detroit River, and out the Welland Canal to the Atlantic.  From there he would travel north to Rhode Island where he would meet up with his estranged boyfriend.  Miranda always had a theory that any man who didn’t hit on her had to be gay.  Right again.

Miranda enjoyed the ride to Petoskey and she could tell that Luke did, too.  Turns out he wasn’t a jerk after all.  As the youngest of five brothers, he learned that having a big mouth was a matter of survival, and after that, it just stuck.  Toward the end of their time as dockmates, Miranda caught on and pegged him as one of the good guys.  She was glad he was there with her on Lake Michigan that morning.  As they motored north, the seas grew rough and Miranda spotted a dead head just off to port.  No problem for Luke, confident at the helm.  She would miss him.

Before leaving Charlevoix, Miranda made one last trip to Traverse City, specifically to the popular bar, ”Tommy’s Gotcha.”  The nostalgic gathering place was lined with the same characters who toasted her when she left town last fall.  Joe Ramano was one of the good guys, looking out for the ones who had too much to drink, and charging a life’s savings to get them off the hook.  It was just plain stupid to drink. 

Vince, the make-believe cowboy, shouted, “Howdy there, little lady,” tipping his ten gallon hat like a true make-believe gentleman.  His side-kick, Lester, pounded his fists, yelling at the waitress for one more.  Charming.

Drew Becker, wearing a worn leather jacket, grinned and winked, probably still thinking about those Oreo cookies.  Two seats over, the man in the navy blue blazer followed her with his eyes from the moment she walked in.  He nodded and said, ”Hello, Miranda,” and invited her to sit down, a date no where in sight. 

Ever since she bumped into him that day at the Detroit airport, she wondered about the allusive, well dressed stranger.  He was mid-sixties, probably a rich, successful guy, looking for a girl who would compliment his lavish lifestyle– a shiny new ornament on his Christmas tree.  Miranda was glad her days as “arm candy” were over.

At the end of the bar sat none other than Charlie Fine (AKA Judas), a man Miranda hoped never to see again.  There was a young blond on his lap, sipping a pink girlie cocktail.  She was drunk, playing with a lock of his wirey red hair.  Charlie’s eyes were at half mast, kissing his way down her throat.  Miranda wanted to throw up at the sight of him.

After an aggressive interrogation, she learned absolutely nothing about Neil Lipman.  The crowd at the bar looked at each other, scratched their heads and played dumb.  The girl with the pink cocktail giggled.  Why was Miranda not surprised.  As if history was about to repeat itself, in the morning she would leave Traverse City for good.

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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23 Responses to Sober by the Bay

  1. Jim Travis says:

    Hi Linda,
    It’s killing me, what’s the deal with this Lipman guy? I must have closure, we must have closure on Lipman. Great story though, you sure know how to keep us hanging here. Hope you and yours are well and happy, God Bless-Jim

    • Linda says:

      Hello, Master of Chaos. Frankly, I’m right there with ya! Unfortunately, Lipman must hang around till the very end. He’s more integral to the story than everyone thinks– a jerk, but an important jerk.

      • Jim says:

        Master of Chaos? You have obviously “not” read it yet, or if you have I am very offended, because you have just referred to me as Satan, ouch. Okay, we will take your word on Lipman, can’t wait to see how the integral jerk fits in, usually people like that are the lessons that you “hate” to admit, but have to anyway. Keep em’ comin’ Sista’!!!
        God Bless-Jim

  2. Theresa says:

    The city docks would be more convenient, but I bet she hated saying good bye to her dock mates. But then again, the demand of her new job would help to fill in some of the gaps. I wonder what new things are waiting just around the corner…

    Catch us up soon! :)

    • Linda says:

      Around the corner lies chaos and tragedy that Miranda barely survives. Hopefully, it will make interesting reading… : ) Congrats again on your first year of school. You rock!!

  3. Larry Who says:

    “…Miranda always had a theory that any man who didn’t ask her out had to be gay. Once again, she was right…”

    What a great line. Miranda does not seem to lack in confidence about herself when it comes to men.

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

    • Linda says:

      Oh yeah, she was a character alright. Got her in lots of trouble though, and as she grew up she regretted the old days… mostly. : )

  4. Larry Who says:

    Just a parting thought: let’s never end this story. Let’s just keep it going because I’m having fun, why quit?

    • Linda says:

      You are too kind, Larry. I don’t know the ending yet either. It could go a couple of ways, and there’s still plenty of time to work that out. I’m so flattered that you like it! ; )

  5. Jan says:

    Lipman is a “necessary evil”? Can’t wait for his unveiling. I’m sorry to hear you say that chaos and tragedy lie ahead for Miranda. I like her.

  6. Debbie says:

    Oh, to hear that some big trouble is coming up for Miranda make my tummy hurt. Just when things look a little better too. You sure know how to tell a story and keep us reading! I with Larry, never wanting this to end! God bless you and yours and give you peace and inspiration!

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Debbie. Welcome to the world of a bipolar alcoholic. Good or bad, when it rains it pours. Miranda needs to take better care of herself…

  7. Tod Hennen says:

    Hee hee – I’m gonna copy this line, too: “Miranda always had a theory that any man who didn’t ask her out had to be gay. Once again, she was right.” That’s a good one, and probably true in most cases when it comes to you. People might have thought that of me long ago, too, but it was mortification that was the real culprit ;-) Just plain afraid to hear the girl say no.

    This is one of those books that I think won’t end badly, because I’ve had the opportunity to take a short peek at the ending. So the reading of it is more relaxed and curious than tense. Taking a long time, too. When did you start this?

    • Tod Hennen says:

      By the way, I really like the pic of you that’s currently posted here. The colors are good together and look good on you. Just needs to be a tad more focused :(

      • Linda says:

        For pete’s sake, Tod… it’s from 1989, back before they even had real cameras! You should see the proof sheets… printed on glossy Kodak paper, very old fashioned. Sheesh! And hugs. ; )

        • Tod Hennen says:

          Well, sheesh on you too! I can’t tell how old it is by looking at it. I don’t see a date on it, and you look pretty much the same today, right? So who’s to know? ;D

    • Linda says:

      As we’ve shared in other places, Tod, I was mortified too. No one likes rejection, so why keep putting yourself out there?

      The thing about Miranda and gay friends is just a bunch of stuff I made up. You know me and fiction… : )

  8. ann says:


    That line caught my attention too :-)

    Go Miranda! You rock :-)


    • Linda says:

      Yes, but the front seat only works if you hold on tight. Crashing to the ground below would be a problem.

  9. Thanks intended for delivering this sort of superb content.

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