By Ryan Frick
We are blessed with the presence of people in our lives. The relationships formed with people are what fill our lives. We sometimes overlook the connections and let people slip through our grasps, leaving only what if. Before we realize what we have the discovery is made that we are alone.
The early morning birds chirp as the sun slowly begins to rise. The sky is blue and filled with large white clouds. An old house stands in a quiet neighborhood. The house is in fair condition with a large porch wrapped around the front of it. A rocking chair sits on the porch to the left of the front screen door. The wind blows lightly. The front door opens slowly and an old man exits to the porch. His denim overalls are worn; his boots are dirty and old. He walks to his left to the rocking chair and sits down on his thrown. His eyes stare out at the distance as kids play and traffic pass by. His feet gently touch the floor creating a gentle rocking motion. He pulls out a pipe from his front pocket of his overalls and lights it with a match. As the old man rocks in his chair the children playing in the distance begins to increase as if it’s the only thing he hears. The old man continues to rock in his chair. His right arm that holds the pipe slowly drops to his side. His rocking decreases in speed as his feet softly touch the floor. The rocking slowly stops as the old man stares off to the distance. His feet touch the ground for the last time as his motion stops. His right arm lowers to the side of the rocking chair with the pipe in hand. The pipe drops from his hand and hits the floor. A small group of children are gathered in front of the house. Their expressions are plain and carefree. More people are gathered around the front lawn as an ambulance and police car arrive on the scene. People stare at the old man as he is attended to. The small crowd of people then turns and walks away.
In a large musty room a younger man sits in a rocking chair in the distance. The sun breaks through the blinds from the window creating mostly shadows within the room. The man is barely recognizable because of the distance in the back of the room, as he continues to rock. A dog barks in the distance. The creaking of the rocking chair is loud. The man rocks back and forth as his eyes are sad as they stare at the blank wall in front of him.
An old shed sits on the side of the old man’s house. The door is opened slightly as the sound of hammers, tools, and sanding increases, as the shed gets closer. The old man is inside the shed at a workbench with his back turned. He wears his same old overalls. His hands are dirty as he continues to hammer. A large table sits on top of the workbench as the man hammers a leg into it. His hands begin to caress the legs of the table as he begins to sand them with a piece of sandpaper. To his right are more tools hanging on the wall. The old man grabs a chisel. With a hammer the old man begins to carve words in the topside of the table.
The sun rises in the sky as trees softly blow in the early morning breeze. The young man lies in bed as the early morning sun peaks through the window. Birds chirp as the sound of children playing is soft and almost unheard. The young man gets out of bed. He walks to his back door and slides it open. He steps out onto his back porch and rests his arms on the wooden railing. He takes a deep breath of the morning air as tears fall from his eyes. He welcomes the morning breeze as it touches his face as if it’s the greatest comfort to him.
The old man’s house stands quietly in the neighborhood. The young man stands in the front lawn of the old man’s house. He walks through the lawn and approaches the front porch. He climbs the steps and walks to his right and approaches the old man, who sits motionless in the rocking chair. The young man kneels down and examines the old man. He leans in close to the old man’s face, studying its familiarity. The old man’s pipe sits on the porch floor next to the rocking chair. The young man’s hand leans in to pick it up. He holds the pipe to his nose and smells its contents. He then places the pipe in the old man’s front overall pocket, the bowl of the pipe sticking out of the top.
The shed sits in the distance with its front doors slightly cracked open. The young man approaches the shed. He stops in front of the doors to examine them. He slowly opens the doors and steps inside the shed. He observes the large workbench, the tools that hang on hooks above the workbench. The young man approaches the workbench and reaches for a hammer that hangs with the rest of the tools. He holds it in his hand as he looks at it from both sides. He lowers the hammer and looks to his right. In front of the workbench stands a large round table made of oak and wood. The young man approaches the table. His hands run across the smooth top of the table. His hands come across the carved words. The young man stares at the words, which read, “For my children”.
A plate of food is placed on top of a table. The young man stands in his kitchen leaning against the wall in the background. A young, beautiful woman continues to place plates and food on the table. The table is set for three. The young man continues to stand still in his position. The young woman is unaware of his presence as she continues with her activities.
In the shed the old man’s hands work on the table. All that is shown is his hands and the table he works on it. He holds a piece of sandpaper and briskly sands the top of the table. He then sands a leg of the table. His free hand caresses the leg, checking it for any errors or rough spots. He then sands the round edges of the table. He blows on the table to remove the access saw dust from it. The old man continues to work as he gets farther away and remains in the background. The young man suddenly rocks in his rocking chair in the musty room. His eyes stare at the same blank wall. The rocking chair continues to creak as faint sounds of sanding are heard.
The young man stands in the kitchen again, in his same position, leaning against the wall in the background. He stares at himself sitting at the table, a plate and food in front of him. The woman sits down next to him on his left. A young boy sits in the chair across from her. They all three sit down enjoying the moment. They pass food to each other, smiling and eating. The young man stands in the background and continues to look on.
The sun shines brightly in the sky as a light breeze blows across the beach. In the distance on the beach near the water the young woman and her toddler play. They run around in circles as the toddler chases the woman. The young man sits at a table at the edge of the beach looking on as he watches the woman and the toddler playing. His hands cross and rise to his sad face as he watches them. He breathes a deep breath of the morning air that blows across his face, comforting him once again.
On the old man’s porch, the rocking chair once occupied by the old man sits empty gently moving from the light breeze. The young man stands on the porch. He examines the rocking chair that sits on his left. He moves behind the chair as his hands move across it. He comes around the chair to the front of it. He pauses for a moment then sits down. Both his hands grab the front arms of the chair. He begins to rock.
The old man stands in the wood shed with his back turned once again. His left hand holds the chisel; his right hand holds the hammer striking the end of the chisel. The old man continues to carves into the table as it begins to read “For my.” The hammer striking the chisel is intense. Children’s laughter is heard in the distance, softly.
The young man sits in a rocking chair once again in the musty room. Only his eyes and top portion of his head can be seen as he rocks slowly. His eyes continue to gaze at the blank wall in front of him.
The young man now sits at his table in the kitchen. He sits on the left as a young toddler stands in a chair across from him. The toddler laughs as he plays with a toy car on the top of the table. The toddler rolls the car to the young man who smiles back. (Track left passed table to quick cross fade to other shot of table). The young man sits in the same chair. The beautiful young woman sits in the chair across from him. Plates of food sit in front of the both of them. Candles in tall, silver holders light the table. The young man grabs the woman’s hand and brings it close to his face. His lips gently kiss the top of her hand (same camera movement as before). The woman is now sitting in the chair on the left. The toddler stands in the chair across from her. Toys are on top of the table as the two of them play. They both laugh and smile (same movement as before). The old man sits at the table in the chair at the back end of the table facing forward. His hands are rested on the table top, his fingers crossed. His sad face stares down toward the table.
The old man is in the shed working on the table with his back turned. His hands continue to sand portions of the table with sand paper. The old man turns the table on its side to examine a loose leg. He reaches for a hammer that sits on top the workbench. He hammers the end of the leg to secure it. He brings the table back up and sets it on its legs. He holds the hammer up and looks at it only it’s the young man. He stares at the hammer then lowers it and looks at the table. His vision focuses on the words he has carved inside the table.
The woman and her toddler child are on the beach in the distance. They are playing like before. She picks him up in her arms and begins to twirl him around, both smiling. The ocean waves crash hard as the breeze lightly blows across the beach. Seagulls fill the sky above. From the edge of the beach the young man walks on the sand with his hands in his front coat pockets. He approaches the woman and toddler who are not yet aware of his presence.
In the sun lit, musty room, the young man sits in the rocking chair. He rocks slowly, staring at the wall in front of him. The creaking from the chair fills the room. His arms hold the toddler boy, who is asleep on the young man’s lap. The young man leans his head down and kisses the toddler’s head. He continues to rock as the child sleeps.