Mike Sterling


The fact that the school’s name is Theopolis is a real draw for me. “City of God.” I feel like there’s so much to work with there, so many angles. Angels. Etc. So our person is an Arab Jew, meaning that she comes from a tradition of religion-fueled adversity. She has come to the United States from Israel, or was born in the United States and elected to seek dual citizenship with Israel. Either way this indicates a strong tie to her hereditary homeland. One of her fellow alumna, Fiona Murphy, an octogenarian protestant from Ireland, not Northern Ireland, was born and emigrated long before religious conflict ceased in that region. Thus it is possible that Theopolis is a gathering place for intellectuals with strong religious and political convictions. It is equally plausible that in 2014 Theopolis, despite its having grown up in the shadow of our nation’s capitol which was founded in and influenced by Christianity, is a place where people from such backgrounds in diversity gather to counter the dogmatic vitriol of their homelands and work together across cultures to remove boundaries and prejudices against people. So, it is possible that our Dr. Behar is a bigot, or a humanitarian. To that end, enter Mike Sterling. Mike owns a bookstore in Theopolis. It’s close enough to the college for interested students to walk to, but far enough away not to be completely run over by the university bookstore. The quaint if a little dingy neighborhood the bookstore occupies was home to Dr. Behar back when she was a young Miss Behar, that’s Ms. Behar to you. Because Ms. Behar has discerning tastes, she eschews the then-developing university bookstore, now an imposing behemoth, in favor of a retailer with a little more personality. This is where she meets Mike Sterling, who is either the proprietor of the establishment, or inherited it from his parents, or just works there for now and will grow up to buy it from the previous owners and really make it into something in his adulthood. Mike is a really bright guy, who must have moved to Theopolis, M.D. from somewhere like Newcastle, ME or San Diego, CA or Burlington, VT or Salem, OR or New York, NY. Mike has seen a thing or two and taken it mostly in stride, so he isn’t all that wowed by the luminaries produced by and attracted to the esteemed college around the corner. Maybe Mike and Rachel meet when Mike makes a flip remark or has an unenthused reaction to something “amazing” happening at Theopolis. As such Mike is a pretty mild person, likes what he likes, which is a smattering of things that always surprises people, and doesn’t get too worked up over any but a few things that are very close to his heart and that don’t always come up day to day. I want mike to have a dog, maybe have a little land outside of the city, but he could have a cool apartment in Theopolis too, maybe right above the shop, maybe not. He could maybe have a cat instead, or both I’m not sure. He doesn’t dress too flashy but is never truly messy or dirty, and he’s alone a lot. Mike also happens to be gay. Its not something a lot of people know about Mike, but not because he is closeted or shy about it. Mike is a pretty public guy in general. He just doesn’t get into things about his personal life unless they come up. But Rachel has known him a long time, since undergrad, not to mention how very astute she is, so she knows. Now, the question is, are they friends who share intimate details with each other and support one another in their struggles, or has Rachel avoided Mike’s store wherever possible since she found out about his “condition,” and is outspoken against Mike and the shop and Theopolis’ gay community and Theopolis’ increasingly tolerant if not progressively inclusive policies concerning homosexual members of the university community? I think its worth talking about.


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