Page 16 from the series Before the Pirates Came*
It was cold but clear when Miranda bumped into her neighbors on the dock the next morning.
Naming the boat was becoming an issue.
“Are you kiddin’ me? You call yourself a boater and you don’t even have a name?”
“That aluminum raft is gonna be your best friend about two weeks from now, so ya better get used to callin’ her somethin’.”
These were Miranda’s new dockmates, Larry, Curly, and Moe.
“Of course she has a name,” she said. “Didn’t you see me dock that boat yesterday… watching from Jack’s Steakhouse drinking beer? I wasn’t born yesterday. I know that a boat is supposed to have a name, but I’ve been waiting for an A+ sign and decal man to lay it out for me. I would never want anything but the best for my ‘raft’. Haha.”
“We’ll hook you up with Captain Brad… he’s the best. He does everybody.”
They laughed hysterically, college boys at a frat party.
“And when you meet Brad, what will you tell him? Do you have a layout? A drawing? A clue? Seriously, Miranda… we’re all friends here. We want to know.”
Definitely not Snow White. Or Snow Queen, or Ice Princess. She thought for a moment…
“I’m calling her “Seeking Miranda.” She knew all along that would be the name, but telling it made it real. “The letters will be gold and shiny with a bunch of diamonds on one side and a red lipstick on the other. Happy?”
“It’s gonna be a long winter… a girl with red lipstick and a bunch of diamonds peein’ in a coffee can at night.”
“Yeh… a coffee can. This I gotta see.”
* * *
She watched them from the bar at Jack’s Steakhouse the night before but didn’t introduce herself. Better to observe them in their natural habitat to see what she was getting herself into.
As long as there is a lady’s room at the marina, there will not be a coffee can on board– unless it’s for making coffee. Miranda had already considered her winter wardrobe and knew there would be more L.L. Bean, less Victoria’s Secret. She would prevail against the elements just like the guys.
She already bought a type III life vest to wear on the docks (not curve enhancing but very safe), strap-on ice cleats, and boots from Canada with steel toes and real shearling liners (that made her feet look huge). She added a Polartec neck warmer and a trapper hat with ear flaps and soft fur. People from her old life, especially Harry, would never believe this. Somebody better take pictures.
Her fashion show was interrupted by a knock on the bow.
“I hope you’re down there working on a drawing for your aft deck superstructure and not admiring your red snowsuit. ” (He was looking in the window!?) “We’re not going skiing, Miranda, we’re here to work.”
It was Ron, the guy on the Hunter 36, the sailboat on the dock directly across from her. He had been a winter boater at the boat basin the longest. Since his divorce he had no interest in playing house, alone or with anyone else. Ron drove a car carrier, delivered cars from the Ford Plant to dealerships all over the U.S.
She looked at his finished drawings, masterfully laid out to scale on graph paper. Crap. This is going to be very hard. Maybe she should use some of Charlie’s “emergency money” and hire an architect, or… Ron handed her the tablet, a protractor, and a ruler and said, “Welcome to the dock, Miranda. Knock on my boat if you get stuck. I can give you a hand.”
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV)
She made some preliminary measurements, tore off a sheet of graph paper, and sat down at the little kitchen table in her galley. It was already dark outside…
*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.