Stories

Why I Wish I Could Draw

Dawn.

A sky view of a house. We go through the roof and see, from a bird’s eye view, a woman lying in bed.

The woman is waking. She rubs her eyes and yawns. The sound of a shower can be heard from the next room. She is alone.

As she rolls over to the other side of the double bed, she fixes her eyes on something in the crumpled covers. She takes it out slowly, as if removing a splinter from skin.

It is a hair. A very long, brown hair. Straight. It is obvious, in this one moment, that the hair is NOT hers; the woman’s hair is cut short, curly.

The woman glances toward the bathroom door.  She slowly balls her hand into a fist around the hair until her arm begins to shake.

[cut to]

A closeup of someone’s finger and thumb. Blurry. There is a hair between the fingers, but it is short and grey.

We slowly pan out. The thumb and finger belong to a middle aged man. He is in a bathroom and the shower is running behind him. He is looking at the hair as if it killed his parents.

He rubs the crown of his head, where there are more grey hairs, although the front portion of his scalp is going bald. He attempts to spread the existing hairs forward, but the effect is pathetic and he soon gives up. Then he looks at the single hair again.

He opens the cabinet over the sink and takes out a plastic pill-minder with separate compartments for each day. He opens the one with ‘W’ on it and carefully places the hair inside, then snaps the top closed.

[cut to]

A girl is in front of a mirror, brushing her hair. Long, brown hair. She is plainly dressed.

[cut to]

The woman from the bed is removing a pot of boiling water from the stove in the kitchen downstairs. She is wearing a bathrobe and a wooden expression.

She puts the whistling pot into one hand and grabs a pack of cigarettes with the other. She drops the cigarettes into a breast pocket of the robe and turns toward the stairs. She starts to climb the stairs carefully—two flights of them.

[cut to]

Inside the shower. The middle aged man has his eyes closed as the water runs over his head.

There is a sound, very much like a bathroom door opening. Footsteps cross the floor to the shower. The man starts and looks to the side. His wife (the woman from before) stands on the seat of the toilet.

She raises the teapot over the top of the shower curtain and pours.

It steams as it hits the man, who yells and yells. Nothing discernible, no real words, just pain-noise. He twists the shower knobs frantically as his wife drops the empty pot on the floor with a clang and walks out.

[cut to]

The girl’s room. She has heard her father screaming and heads for the hallway.

[cut to]

There is a table in a hallway with a lighter lying on it. The woman stalks down the hall and grabs the lighter as she goes.

[cut to]

An open-air balcony at the end of the hall, three stories up. The woman emerges and leans onto the railing, taking a cigarette out of the pocket in her bathrobe, lighting it, and taking a deep drag.

[cut to]

The bathroom. The shower is off, but the man is still standing behind the curtain with his head down, breathing hard.

After collecting himself, he towels off carefully. The boiling water has left intensely red marks up and down his back—at least a first degree burn. He wraps the towel around his waist, flinching. He walks out of the bathroom and turns into the hallway.

We see that the girl, his daughter, is sitting down at the end of the hallway, against the wall. As he approaches, it becomes clear that she is shaken, biting her fingernails and staring, zombie-like, into space.

He kneels down, looks inquisitive, and is about to speak when his daughter turns her head deliberately to the right, towards the balcony.

The man looks. The balcony is empty. He stands up and walks onto it, then looks over the railing.

[cut to]

The girl’s face. A scream—her father’s voice.

Her expression does not change.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Wish I Could Draw

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