SILVER LIVING CENTER BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)
ANGELO, a 60 year old Filipino-American man.
ANGELO is sitting on a bench outside of a care home facility.
Beside him is an aging sign for the facility that reads “SILVER LIVING CENTER”
ANGELO sits alone and quietly, staring off into space.
An automatic sliding door gets ANGELO’s attention and he turns around to look at it.
No one enters or exits through the door.
The sliding door slides shut.
ANGELO turns back around to look at the space.
A NURSE starting her shift enters and walks towards the automatic sliding doors.
NURSE sees ANGELO.
NURSE: Kamusta Po…
ANGELO nods his head.
NURSE: We were all… everyone in the unit was… Lola Jenine... (Pause) We are all sorry for your loss.
ANGELO: Salamat. (Pause) And thank you all for taking care of her. All those years.
NURSE: Of course. (Starts to make her way through the doors) Let us know if you need anyth –
NURSE: Wait why are you here? Do you need anything?
ANGELO: Oh. No. Nothing. I’m just… I’m just here.
NURSE: Ok. Well. Can I get you a water? Or…?
ANGELO: No. No. Thank you though. I’m ok.
NURSE nods her head and enters the care home.
ANGELO looks at the sign for a moment.
ANGELO hears someone approach.
Slowly, ANGELO’S daughter, SAM, enters.
ANGELO sees SAM.
SAM: Can I sit with you?
SAM sits with him.
ANGELO: Why are you here?
SAM: Why do you think? … To find you.
ANGELO: How did you know I’d be here?
ANGELO: That obvious?
SAM: No. I’ve been looking for you for hours.
SAM playfully nudges ANGELO.
A brief silence.
SAM: How are you doing?
ANGELO: Sometimes I feel ok… But most of the time, I don’t.
SAM: I get that.
ANGELO: How about you?
SAM: Um. Fine. I guess. I don’t know. It’s kind of surreal, you know?
SAM: Lola’s the first person in my life to die.
ANGELO: I guess your right huh?
ANGELO: It keeps happening the older you get.
ANGELO: You get used to it after a while.
ANGELO: In some ways, yes. In others, no… Your Lola dying… That’s gonna hurt no matter what.
SAM: What are you doing here?
ANGELO: I should have been here more, I think. No. I know. I know. I should have been here more.
SAM: You did your best…
ANGELO: No… I don’t think I did. I don’t think I did, Sam.
ANGELO: You know, your Lola never wanted to move here. When your Aunt’s and I brought it up to her she was so pissed off at us… Especially your Tita Sam, she said. She expected it from me but thought your Tita Sam was better than that… I don’t know. I thought it was the right thing to do. She lived on her own for so long and you know, it’s hard to live by yourself when you’re old... She yelled at us, “If you’re so worried about me being on my own, then how come none of you let me just stay with you? Huh?”
SAM: I can pay rent!
ANGELO: She’d always yell that, wouldn’t she?
SAM: I can pay rent if you make me pay rent!
ANGELO: As if we’d make her pay…
ANGELO: As if I asked her to stay with us…
SAM: Don’t be hard on yourself about it, Dad. It’s not easy to take care of someone who’s gotten old… It’s a tough decision.
ANGELO: It’s also not easy to take care of three babies and raise them to be adults.
SAM: I mean… sure but…
ANGELO: … But what?
SAM: … Just don’t think about it too much. It’s easier that way.
ANGELO and SAM start to laugh.
The laughs help them breathe a little easier.
As the laughter dies down, ANGELO puts his arm around SAM.
SAM: Be easier on yourself... Try to be easier…
ANGELO and SAM sit and breath together.
The automatic sliding door opens.
ANGELO and SAM both turn to look but no one is there.
The sliding door closes.
SAM rests her head on her dad.
END OF PLAY.