Getting High

Page 19 from the series Before the Pirates Came*

They told her it was a rite of passage for anyone who lived on the dock.  Luke asked Miranda if she liked getting high, because that’s what she’d have to do if she wanted to be part of “the team.”  He promised it would be an experience she’d never forget.  The men snickered.

Miranda ignored the comment and assumed it was just more frat boy humor.  She never smoked pot, never tried drugs, but loved alcohol and drank like a sailor every night.  Living just a few steps away from Jack’s Steakhouse didn’t help, where Rosie the bartender gave her drinks for free.  Booze had ruined her marriage.  She would have never cheated on Harry had it not been for the alcohol, and she swore it would not lead her astray again.  Maybe cutting back to three nights a week would help.

Miranda had never really dabbled in hard work beyond organizing her closet and colorizing her JCrew t-shirts.  But sawing through the heavy plastic pipe was grueling.  By noon she had shed her snow suit and changed into a sweatshirt and jeans.  The sun came out.  She was sweating.  In a way it felt good.

“Measure twice, cut once.  Are you listening, Miranda?” Luke was getting on her nerves.  He was bossy, a know-it-all… a pirate to be sure, but strangely appealing.

One mistake, and she was never going to hear the end of it.  Miranda didn’t realize how important it was to check every angle and follow the drawing exactly.  It was hard to make a straight cut.  It was hard to saw, period.  Even so, when she started to put the pieces together her project began to take shape. 

She stepped back to take a look.  In her heart she was dancing like a wide receiver in the end zone, but gave herself a discreet pat on the back instead. Miranda took off her leather gloves. Her palms were red and blistered, and her nails were shot, but accomplishing something on her own, without Harry or anyone else telling her what to do, made Miranda feel optimistic.  She put on her gloves and  kept on working.  

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

It was getting cold and Miranda slipped back into her snow suit.  She was gathering up leftover pieces of PVC, sweeping off her dock.  The plastic shrink-wrap would add a layer of insulation that would keep her boat 10-degrees warmer inside.  It was available in two colors, blue and white, but anyone who ever chose blue went clinically insane before the thaw.  Ron suggested white, Miranda agreed.

The top of Ron’s mast was 60′ 1″ from the waterline.   They strapped her into the bosun’s chair and made sure she was tightly secured.   Now she knew what the webbing and D-rings were for.  It had been a great day on the dock, a day of success and new friendships.  Miranda got high and she loved it up there.  Winter was coming, the structures were ready, and the pictures turned out great.

“Good job, Miranda… you’re gonna make it, ” shouted her mates.  “You’re gonna make it!”

“Congenial conversation– what a pleasure!  The right word at the right time– beautiful!  Proverbs 15:23  (The Message)


*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.


© 2011, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

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9 Responses to Getting High

  1. Jan says:

    I love these situation-specific sayings. My husband was in construction for many years, and “outsiders” were always curious about “raising the Christmas tree”–meaning the structure was topped out, as tall as it was going to be, and a small evergreen tree was raised to the top of the structure. Getting high–same kind of inside saying.

    • Linda says:

      “Raising the Christmas tree…” That’s really clever. Do they raise a real evergreen to the top, or just a symbolic one? I need to know so I can be an insider, too!

  2. Debbie says:

    60’1″? Miranda is brave! I’m kind of sort of scared of heights. :) So, so good to read your series again and praying that you and yours are doing okay. God bless you and the hard work it takes each day to do what He asks you to do! love and prayers, deb

    • Linda says:

      Thanks for the well wishes. Wow. This is really very hard. But it’s only for awhile, and by God’s grace we will do just fine. Lots of opportunities to pray, and also to reflect on how He prepares us for situations we could never possibly imagine. It’s all good. I’m blessed to have my loved one home and recovering well. Thanks for your prayers…

      And yes, the mast really was that high. I googled it to be sure. : )

  3. “…Luke asked Miranda if she liked getting high, because that’s what she’d have to do if she wanted to be part of ‘the team’..”

    Don’t we believers always struggle with being part of “the team?” I imagine Miranda really understands this issue, as most women do. It might be worth a flashback scene for Miranda to look back on this issue in times past.

    • Linda says:

      Oddly enough, the author was always an outcast and a recluse. She would have died for a deal to be part of any “team.” She has since, however, outgrown her shyness to the extent that she has a wonderful circle of Christian ladies who love each other, pray for each other, hang out, and drink coffee at Panera. : ) Miranda’s choices and desire to fit in are highly fictionalized and exagerated. A fellow writer recently advised me not to be too personal about what I write and I decided that was a good plan. Hugs… : )

  4. Jan says:

    Yes, a real evergreen. In this part of Texas, cedars grow wild, and are abundant, so they are a typical choice.
    I don’t think I could go up that high–60 feet. Congratulations on having the courage!

    • Linda says:

      It wasn’t courage it was alcohol… sad but true. Like you said in your previous comment, that God must have a plan for His believers to survive the most difficult challenges so we can glorify Him and help others. That’s awesome, isn’t it!

  5. Ferd says:

    These were some powerful steps in the right direction!
    Hooray for Miranda! :-)

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