Scott Binnings is currently enrolled in the BFA program for Creative Writing for Entertainment with Full Sail University.
Binnings has worked as a Usability Tester for a Virtual Reality startup in The Bay Area called Nomadic. He independently operated and tested a VR studio and his documentation became the source material for engineer testing and Standard Operating Procedures. He has also provided Technical Support and assisted with Sales, Customer Retention, Customer Service, and Fraud Analysis for large inbound call centers at large companies like Apple, Cox Communications and smaller sized ISP’s.
Binnings has worked as a telephone interviewer for the Gallup Organization and has conducted public opinion polls, customer satisfaction surveys, political surveys, et al. He attended several semesters after high school at a Liberal Arts College, where he majored in Psychology, then Multimedia Graphics and Animation.
Binnings discovered his knack for creative writing in primary school. He also demonstrates a natural talent for drawing, sketching, and cartooning. When he is not busy with school, he enjoys cartooning and playing drums.
Scott Binnings can be contacted on LinkedIn.
Angel of the Morning
Dewdrops sparkle at dawn as busy bees buzz about the buds of blooming begonias on the back patio of Room 107.
Inside, the radio plays to drown-out the noise from the overpass. This is, after all, the new Howard Johnson’s, just off of Exit 42.
“Just call me angel of the morning…” plays as Burt and Connie lie in bed, their bodies drenched with sweat. Connie lights up a Virginia Slims with a pack of hotel matches from the ash tray.
Burt turns to Connie. “You’re on the pill, right?”
“No, why?” says Connie.
(On the Radio: “Mama told me not to come…”)
“Well, I just assumed you had that covered, what, with Women’s Lib and all.”
“I told ya in the beginning, I’m a married man with a family and a career and I do not want that to change.”
“I’m still kinda married, too,” says Connie.
“Yeah right. Two doped- up kids exchanging vows in the back of a VW van?”
“Look, marriages happen in a church or a courthouse, not the back of a van. What you call marriage sounds more like a Manson family Christmas.”
“Well, then you’re the cheater, not me.”
(On the Radio: “Your cheatin’ heart…”)
“Maybe so, but that makes you the other woman.”
Connie puts on her silk pink robe and storms past the iridescent orange, yellow, and brown striped bedspread, which blends seamlessly into the chocolate brown shag carpet beneath her feet. She steps out onto the patio.
(On the Radio: “What the world needs now is love sweet love…”)
Meanwhile, Burt puts on his favorite silk smoking-robe, with his initials “B.R.” on the left lapel, written in cursive. He ambles toward the kitchen past the industrial- strength toilet cleaner and air freshener.
Fortunately they are offset with the aroma of stale cigarette smoke and cheap perfume. He pours a round of cocktails and carries them out to the patio.
He smiles as the scent of flowers in bloom become stronger. He sniffs the air and his smile becomes sour. “What’s that? Are you smoking marijuana?”
Connie extends a lit joint to Burt and says, “Here.”
(On the Radio: “Your love is lifting me higher…”)
“No. I don’t do drugs and I’d prefer if you didn’t do them around me, thank you very much.” Burt slams the drinks down and steps back inside.
Smoke comes from Connie’s mouth as she laughs and says, “Oh my God, you’re such a narc! You’re like my dad or something.”
Burt speaks from a small opening in the sliding patio door. “Yeah? Well, if I were your dad, you wouldn’t be doing drugs. I’d also make sure you take all your contraceptives or no dessert for you, young lady.”
“Just kidding, but seriously, Connie. Do you have any idea what would happen to me if I fail a drug test? I’d be black-balled by every major airline from here to Istanbul. No more lavish weekends, to say the least.”
“You call this lavish? It’s Howard Johnsons.”
“Name a place and we’ll go. Ever seen Big Ben? Statue of Liberty? The Louvre? Finest hotels in the world. The best room service, but if the money train stops, uhh.”
(On the Radio: “I’m your vehicle, babe. I take ya anywhere you wanna go…”)
“You’re bummin’ me out. Look, I don’t care about your money and I’m not trying to threaten your marriage or your job. I just like being around you, having someone smart, who has their shit together for a change.”
Burt stands up and turns his back to Connie. “I’ll give you a thousand dollars, cash, right now if you just play ball.”
Connie looks away. Her hair shines like gold under the glow of sunlight. The scent from the flowers-in-bloom is sweeter than ever. Burt snaps a begonia stem loose and turns to Connie. “Here you are, my beautiful flower.”
She looks up and smiles as a busy bumble bee buzzes about the beautiful begonia in Burt’s hand. Burt bashes Mr. bee and it stings him, which blasts Burt’s face with a plume of petals and pollen.
“Ow! Son of a! Damn thing just stung me!”
Connie chuckles. “You have pollen in your mustache.”
Burt holds his hand up to the sunlight to examine the sting. He pulls the stinger out and turns to Connie. “Let me take you to Paris for the weekend. I want you to see the sun come up behind the Eiffel Tower from the Honeymoon Suite at the Hotel Montaigne.”
“No. You, lying buck naked on a bed in a French hotel room eating grapes is tempting.”
(On the Radio: “A Goddess on a mountain top…”)
“Sure, why not?”
“That’s the spirit.”
“I’m still young and have my whole life ahead of me.”
“Amen to that, sister.”
“I mean, what was I thinking? I need to get my shit together before bringing a child into this world. I don’t want it to have to go through what I went through growing up.”
“Hell yeah! Let’s have a drink.”
“That’s my Connie-girl.”
She stands up and they join hands and walk inside, together. Burt flees to the kitchen to prepare the cordials as Connie dives onto the bed. She lies on her side with her hand on her cheek.
“So, what does Mrs. Richards think of your exploits with younger women?”
(On the Radio: “All that’s left is a band of gold…”)
“Bah, she doesn’t care. She’s too busy with her own life. Kids, school, the usual.”
“So, she does know?”
“More or less. I mean, we have an understanding. I travel a lot and, ya know, what she don’t know don’t hurt her. She has a very nice life.”
“Hmm. Sounds lonely.”
“Well, you’re still young. Your priorities are different. I mean, ya can’t hardly expect a married mother of 3 in her 30’s to look at the world the same as a 19 year- old stewardess school graduate who never left The Valley.”
“Yeah, about that.” Connie sits up on the edge of the bed. “As long as we are clearing the air, making a fresh start, there’s something you should know.”
“Oh yeah? What’s that?”
“I uh… I’ll wait until you’re done making the drinks. You’ll probably want to sit down for this.”
“Should I be worried?”
(On the Radio: “With all the charms of a woman, you’ve kept the secret of your youth….”)