[Prose] Woman Waits, Seething, Blooming – Part II

Although a response to David Egger’s short story, this continuation has been written so as to be readable in isolation from the original text. 

She stormed into the hallway to catch the beams of her son’s headlights bringing life to the stained glass flowers embedded in her front door. Maria winced her eyes shut and began to mouth her argument with small, sputtering lips. She sighed hard and released the drunken spittle that had been clinging for dear life in between them. She watched it fly ahead of her before wiping her mouth with the sleeve of her nightgown. Yet she felt more moisture crawling and creeping down her body. She took a moment. Brian was still in the car. Was he afraid to come inside? He fucking should be, she thought to herself. She looked around. Ah! It was the drink, of course. She wiped her mouth against her right arm, failing to remember that she was still holding a tumbler of gin and red wine, which she had spilled on her cleavage and nightgown.

She knew that no matter what she had to say to her son, it would be more convincing if she wasn’t holding a still-sizable measure of alcohol. But it was too late: Brian’s key was in the door. It fit perfectly the first time. There was so scraping or dragging it across the vicinity of the lock. He must be sober. The door opened, squeaking comically, almost mockingly. His naturally pale face revealed itself in the light of the hallway. He pursed his dark red lips. His blue eyes shone with worry. He apologised immediately, but it wasn’t enough. Of course it wasn’t enough! She launched into her monologue. It was a lengthy, surprisingly verbose affair, with various peaks of hyperbolically-related misery, although Maria took care to maintain a consistently grim tone throughout. It was only halfway through a fiercely delivered anecdote about her unbearably bleak adolescence that she thought to ask Brian where he had actually been all this time.

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[Movies] Stories We Tell (review)

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Director: Sarah Polley // Distributor: Artificial Eye // Release Date: June 28th // Starring: Michael Polley, Sarah Polley, Pixie Bigelow, Joanna Polley, John Buchan, Geoffrey Bowes and Susy Buchan.

The multitalented Sarah Polley seeks answers to some very personal questions in this touching documentary. Through a series of jovial interviews, Polley explores the art of storytelling and the impact one particular tale has had on her own life.

Stories We Tell could so easily have been a trifling vanity project. That it isn’t stands not only as a testament to Polley’s talent, but also her inherent likability and aversion to vanity. Behind the mixing desk at a recording studio, Polley coaches her father Michael as he reads out his own account of the many questions left behind in the wake of his wife’s death. She sits there exposed; no Hollywood lighting, no flaw-devouring make-up. The same could be said of her family, who make up the bulk of her interviewees. Few of them are formally introduced and minimal background information is given. Characters instead develop as the film progresses, granting the documentary a swift pace that takes you straight to the heart of their family dynamic.

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