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.