The Potter

Document
Cover Image

The Potter


It opens inside a one room cabin. There’s a small fireplace and a kitchenette, so a person could be living there. The only person there is an old man, who rises slowly from bed and turns off the switch by the room’s only door. In one corner is a small potter’s wheel. The old man stands up, goes to the kitchenette and puts a pot of water on to make tea. As he drinks the tea, he rolls and smokes a cigarette. While smoking, he pulls a pad of paper and pen from the table drawer and writes a note.


The note: Darling Anna Belle,


I miss you so much and cannot wait for your return. I’ve lived quietly since you left, mostly sulking around the house, wallowing in agony. But today is different. It is my last day of suffering. Today I will make you a bowl. I’ve neglected the wheel recently and would love to create something beautiful for you. For us. I know you’re due back tomorrow with tales of grandeur that will last a lifetime. Two lifetimes if we’re lucky. I’ll leave it on the doorstep tonight so I remember it on my way into town tomorrow. God I miss you. And I know that we will be reunited tomorrow, but I wanted you to know how I have fared, so I am documenting my lamentations. I leave you with this note and the hope that any sorrow I encounter from now until forever is caused by my own foolish hands and not by the distance between us. I love you. And I always will.
Forever yours,
Alexander


He seals the letter, writes Anna Belle on the envelope and sets it on the table. He gets up and goes to his potter’s wheel. He pulls a wedge of clay from the cooler next to the wheel and centers it on the wheel, his bare feet kicking the wheel into motion. He slowly forms a small bowl. Once the bowl is complete, he detaches the piece from the wheel with a piece of wire. He sets it aside. Later in the day, he uses some extra clay to fashion handles to the pot. He signs his mark, indistinguishable as proper letters—more of a sign than a signature—onto the bottom of the bowl.


In the evening, he places the letter into the bowl, and places them both just outside onto the front porch. He switches on the light and goes to bed.


The next morning he awakes, turns off the light by the door, and makes a pot of tea. He smokes a cigarette, pulls out the same pad of paper and pen and writes a note.


Darling Anna Belle,


The stars have smiled upon me this morning. Every morning since you left, I have awoke cold and badly rested—lonely. But after today, I shall not worry about such matters for my love is to return to me. With tales of grandeur in her stow away bag, she is coming home to me. I’m sure you find this a bit corny as you read it, our reunited love burning in our breasts. But I want you to know that I missed you dearly. I am also glad to report after a long period of inactivity, I have returned to my wheel to prepare you a coffee mug. It is for you to enjoy every morning that we are together—from now until forever love. I hope you have endured such needless lamentations, and I promise our lives will be happy.
To one life forever love,
Alexander


He seals the letter, writes Anna Belle on the envelope and sets it on the table. He gets up and goes to his wheel. He pulls a wedge of clay from the cooler next to the wheel and centers it on the wheel, his bare feet kicking the wheel into motion. He slowly forms a coffee mug. When the mug is complete, he detaches the piece from the wheel with a piece of wire. He sets it aside. Later in the day, he uses some extra clay to fashion a handle for the coffee mug. He signs his mark, indistinguishable as proper letters—more of a sign than a signature—onto the bottom of the mug.
In the evening, he bends the letter and envelope in half so it will fit inside the mug and sets them both outside onto the front porch. He switches on the light and goes to bed.


A series of days is shown in succession with the same details. He wakes up, turns off the light, makes tea, smokes a cigarette, and writes a letter to Anna Belle. He then sits at his wheel to make a piece of pottery. Each day he makes something different. A Large Bowl for serving fruit, a teapot, a vase, a plate, etc. And each night he sets it outside with the letter included. Enough examples of this are shown to indicate the man has been doing this for an indistinguishable amount of time and will presumably continue doing it indefinitely. Excerpts from his love letters are also shown:


With love always.


I hope you have enjoyed the city.


A lifetime in the country.


You’re the inspiration my craft needs.


Your face is all the inspiration I need.


I do apologize for unnecessary lamentations


I cannot wait until tomorrow.


Tomorrow everything will be different.


Tomorrow I will be reborn with you.


I love you.


I love You.


I Love You.



The man is radiant and happy the entire time.


The last time he is shown, the camera follows the piece of pottery with the letter inside. Car wheels are heard, hands grab it, and it is placed into a dark trunk. When the piece is pulled from the trunk, it is daylight in a large factory. The letter is taken and thrown into a pile of unopened envelopes—all for Anna Belle. The pot is then put into a kiln alongside the others shown before. The kiln is fired.


The kiln is opened; the pieces are removed and each is marked with price tags and placed on display, on a shelf, in a shop. The camera shows the price tag, then the piece, then the shelf, then the shop. A beautiful older woman enters the shot with a young couple behind them. The sign in the corner of the shop says “Anna Belle’s Ceramics” with a highly stylized ABC theme. The woman’s name tag says Anna Belle. She picks the piece up from the shelf, the old man’s sign clearly visible on the bottom and shows it off to the young couple. The camera zooms in on her face. She is a decade or two past her prime, but still lovely, full of joy and life.

Created: Feb 27, 2014

Tags: shortfilm, story, fiction, animation

CubbySanchez Document Media