A very tiny film. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuqQpAXgCLQ
Two women, wine, and a chat about relationships.
Written, Directed, and Produced by C.L. Manion (clmanion.wordpress.com)
Filmed and Edited by Yasir A.
Assistant Director – Kathleen McCarthy (@Kathleen_McC)
Music by Kevin MacLeod
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of directing Allison Merten’s first music video, “Temptation.” Check it out:
To see production photos and learn more about Allison, click here.
“Temptation” by Allison Merten
Directed by C.L. Manion
Filmed and Edited by Yasir Alhumaidan
Production Assistant – Caleb Behnke
I am planting you a lemon tree
In the middle of the yard
Never mind that it’s mid winter
And the ground is awfully hard
I am picking you a great bouquet
Of many-colored blooms
I didn’t know they’d make you sneeze
Or attract the bees into your rooms
I am making you a delicious pie
From scratch by my own hand
But I forgot to set the oven timer
And now the crust is more like sand
I want to do the things you like
And prove myself applied
So even if it doesn’t work
Please just know that
Based on the advice of a horoscope, a man delivers an odd gift to his girlfriend.
Man – Caleb Behnke
Woman – Allison Merten (allisonmerten.com)
Writer/Director/Producer – C.L. Manion (clmanion.wordpress.com)
Assistant Producer – Kathleen McCarthy (@Kathleenm_McC)
Director of Photography/Editor – Taylor Peters (speedoflightvideography.com)
Music by Kevin MacLeod
The quiet moments underneath
The morning light on sleeping streets
Between the walls of cheaply rented rooms
When I am preparing
All the things I mean to do
And you are in the bedroom
Or else sitting in a chair
A million miles away in thought
And I, the same the other way
Just like goldfish
In a second story bowl
We glide past one another
Unobtrusive or unspeaking
Swimming little rings around our rooms
We could be strangers if it were not
For our intertwining lives
Like loving vines
Wrapped around each other
To become a single living maze
In these quiet moments
Between the cups of coffee
And sheets of shopping lists
Between the schedules and checkbooks
And all the doings of a day
In the moments
Between the fray
When we neither have to say
In those quiet moments, know
I love you best.
“No, I don’t blame you, Harry,” Nadine rest her head down on the counter, “But I think you could’a told me sooner.”
“I know honey, and I’m sorry.” He flicked a lamp on, partially filling the room with weak yellow light. Nadine’s slender fingers drew perspiration down from her glass to trace shapes upon the lamination. The veins on her hand stuck out more than they used to.
“Does Bernice know?” she asked.
“Not yet. I thought I’d tell ‘er in the morning. Or maybe wait until she comes home next weekend.”
“You’ll call her in the morning.”
“I’ll call her in the morning,” Harry agreed. He opened a window, hoping for the cool night air. How long had he been promising to fix the screech that it made?
“And you tell that child everything.”
“Of course, honey, everything.”
“God, what luck we have.”
Harry walked over and laid his hands on Nadine’s slender shoulders. The starched cotton dress stood away from her body. It was just enough to let his hands slip under as he tried to ease the muscle.
She sat up. Her thumb idly twisting the wedding ring around her finger.
“So you got a plan or somethin’?”
“Workin’ on it. Frank said they might got somethin’ for me uptown – but too early to say.”
“Mmm.” Nadine sipped her drink.
“Don’t worry, baby, I’ll find somethin’.”
“I know, Harry,” she said, taking his hand, “I know.”
When I was a kid, my mother would take me to visit her sister in the city. She lived in this fabulous building in the heart of downtown. Its curves of blue-black glass made it look like the vase I wasn’t allowed to touch. Inside, everything was just as shiny. The lobby was puzzle of different colored marble, all buffed to that high touch-me-not gloss. And mailboxes. I was fascinated with them. They were tiny brass strongholds – full of the risqué love letters Aunt Marie described to my mother when they thought I couldn’t hear. I adored my Aunt Marie.
I like to imagine that she had had a love affair with Clark Gable, even though the time-line for that is all wrong. Still, it seems like the kind of thing that would have suited her. Aunt Marie was considerably older than my mother, but more alive than anyone else I had ever met. Beautiful, eccentric, and at times, completely mad. She taught me how to spit the shells of sunflower seeds off the edge of her balcony – showing me the secret of velocity and congratulating me when I hit someone. Which I never did intentionally, of course.
Then, in the afternoons, there was coffee. I always looked forward to coffee because, while I wasn’t permitted any, that’s when the stories would start. Aunt Marie would tell my mother all about the charming people she knew and the not-in-front-of-children letters she received. My mother would pretend to be shocked, but I think she was a little jealous. I know I was, and I was too young to understand most of it at the time. But it didn’t matter. At ten years old, I decided that that was the life I wanted. A life full of wild stories and romance by post. And I absolutely had to live in a building with brass mailboxes.
Which is how I ended up here.
Continue reading: Bump (5 pages)
In the center of the garden is a fountain. It’s a low, shallow affair with a center column shaped into pretty sculptures of pudgy children – no doubt an imitation of older pretty sculptures of other pudgy children. But unlike the original, wherever it may be, this one made of highly engineered fibers. It is made intentionally old.
A little boy in knee-high trousers stands with his nose pressed to the rim. He has little concern for his Sunday best as he fishes out a penny from the basin. He throws it in, digs it out, throws it in. Cathy watched from her place by the door, wondering if he made the same wish every time. Given the heat of the day it was probably ice cream. Or a pony. Or one of the slick noisy trinkets advertised between cartoons. What is it that little boys wish for?
The slow parade of guests shuffled into the church. Cathy greeted them all in turn, though most were perfect strangers. All the while she watched the boy. He kept at his game, uninhibited, the edges of his rolled-up sleeves soaking through. Cathy tried to think if she had seen him with any guardian, but she couldn’t recall one. The boy had simply appeared in her line of view, devoid of any context. She shook hands with an elderly couple. Wasn’t the weather fine for the occasion? Couldn’t ask a better day to hold a wedding.
What would I wish for over and over again? Cathy shooed away a puff of bumblebee. The thought was like a riddle with a million good answers, but none of them right. In goes the penny, and out it comes. In and out, in and out. Guests ushered in, music drifts out. What is it I would wish for?
Money seemed beneath her. Happiness, too vague. World peace – but what does that mean? AC felt like wasting a wish. The boy was studious in his splashing, performing the serious task of his own making. Nothing else caught his attention. He caught the attention of nothing else. Cathy wondered if anyone else even noticed the boy. It was starting in five minutes, surely he should be collected and put into a seat.
I wish I would have said something – it struck her all at once. The truth of it was undeniable. Cathy hid her blush by pretending to adjust the itching fabric at her waist. It was useless, that kind of wish. Too much time and other talking, then too many miles and now this. This beautiful reminder by unsuspecting friends. Let’s be friends. Let’s always be friends. I wish I would have –
The boy was gone. The water in the fountain stood alone gurgling indifferently. Cathy looked around. Had he gone inside? I didn’t see him.
Cathy? someone called, we’re starting.
Cathy went inside and took her place among the party. I wish, I wish, I wish.
The image is from Wiki Commons. “Bunch of flowers with daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus), France.” Public domain image.
Greetings from snowy Mt. Horeb! I’m just writing to wish you a happy birthday and to say that I hope all is well with you, Dave, and the children. It’s been such an awfully long time since I’ve written.
I wonder, how is the weather out there in Hawaii? I do hope you’ve remembered to use sunscreen. But of course you have. You’ve lived there twelve years now. I guess the watchful habits of an elder sister are slow to die. Hard to believe you’re sixty.
I’ve been meaning to thank you for the gift you sent, Christmas 2006. It’s such a lovely little instrument, fills me with guilt I haven’t a clue how to play it. But then again, God knows where I’d find lessons for the uke – ukalele – uckulayle – well, it doesn’t matter how to spell it, because we both know I’ll never send this letter anyway.
Did Dave really have pneumonia last fall? I’m not accusing you of anything. I suppose I don’t care one way or the other anymore. You’ve always gone your own way, the rest of us be damned. Still, it was strange to bury Mom without you.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking back to those days, when everything fell apart. It all seems like a dream now – little wisps of memory here and there, still images, and soundbites. I’ll never forgive myself for what I called you. No one deserves that kind of language, least of all from family.
But I was so very angry – you have to understand. You had me so riled up and twisted round. I wouldn’t have minded about the money, I could have gotten over that in time. It was the secrets, Margaret. The two of you, scheming behind my back. He left right after you did, did you know that? I only ever saw his lawyer after. And no idea where he’s gone to. It’s cruel to think, but maybe it was for the best that we couldn’t have children.
What am I blathering on about? Events long gone in a letter soon deleted. But then again, I tend to be the weepy one on birthdays. Now.
Well, happy birthday Margaret. I’ll send the thought at least. I hope Dave and the kids are doing well. The boys must be full grown men by now. Of course they are. That’s the way time works.
Maybe someday, I’ll actually send a letter. Someday when I’ve gathered up the gall. Or downed enough gin. Or maybe – maybe when I’ve finally taken lessons, and I can tell you just how much I love to play the ukah – uku – youkoo – ukulele.
Or then again, maybe not.