Friday, December 26, 2014
At the Metro of Lima
((Atocongo Station) (a short radio play))
By Dennis L. Siluk, Dr. h.c.
“Full with half comic throbbing of the human race, this radio play is written in strong, dramatic dialogue that is real both in its insinuation and in its suitability. So I believe.” The Author
Rosa (daughter to Papa Augusto—47-years old)
Dennis (son in law—59-years old)
Papa Augusto (Father to Rosa and David, 91—years old)
Sofia (daughter in law to Papa Augusto, wife to David—37-years old)
Maria Sofia (Granddaughter to Papa Augusto—10-years old)
David (son to Papa Augusto, husband to Sofia—39-years old)
Martha (eldest daughter to Papa Augusto—54-years old)
Two people standing the Atocongo Station, in Lima, Peru, it is four days before Christmas; they are waiting for the train, and two other family members, Sofia and Maria Sofia (or Mary-Sofia), are to go Christmas shopping. David is going beyond the yellow line, looking down the tracks for the train, at the same time looking for his wife Sofia and his daughter Maria Sofia glancing at the steps leading up to the platform where the train will stop, Sofia is to pick up her daughter upon arrival back from Satipo, the Central Jungle of Peru (where they are building a motel), then take a taxi over to Martha’s apartment in Jesus-Maria, a section of Lima, and pick up her daughter, then hightail over to the train station near Maria Sofia’s Uncle Dennis’ and Rosa’s house.
There is music in the background, Christmas music, where it is coming from, is questionable, only the station manager and God knows.
A Voice: Here she comes!
The music gets louder. You can hear footsteps. You can hear a few murmurs then they die out.
You can hear the crescendo of the train whistle approach; the sound of iron and steel on the tracks rushing.
The train now enters the dock area—within the station, pulls up to the edge, there is a hissing, a clanking. Now the noise of the people standing on the pier are about to board the train— (English and Spanish mixed voices, whatever, however you prefer) then a dead stop of the train.
Voice comes over a loud speakers saying: Stand back of the yellow line until the train opens up its doors and the passengers leave, and then step up… (Repeats.)
David: Rosa, do you see Sofia or Mary-Sofia, they’re to meet us here?
Rosa: We can wait for her, wait for next train don’t worry, they come every
fifteen minutes, she’ll be along.
David: I left Mary-Sofia with Martha, she’s watching her for the weekend, but
Sofia was to pick her up, as soon as she arrived back
Sofia suddenly appears on the platform holding little ten-year old Mary-Sofia’s arm. Papa Augusto is with them, he drags the heels of his feet somewhat and you can hear the sound on the cement, and stomps his cane, step to step, unknowingly or purposely, he likes his attention. And recently he had had an accident, breaking his femur, thus, he’s been laid up in Huancayo, up in the Andes all this time, and it has halfway healed, this is his first real visit back down to Lima in a long while. It was an eight-hour bus ride to Lima.
Rosa: Oh, Sofia, there you are! (Sofia hastens towards Rosa, leaving Mary-Sofia
to assist her grandfather, meeting Rosa—face to face, and David rushing over to greet his wife at the same time) David’s been so worried, nervous as a rabbit being chased by a hound (they both chuckle, David grins).
Papa Augusto dragging his feet a little as Mary-Sofia hasten towards them.
David (finally, after a greeting kiss): Where on God’s earth you been?
Papa Augusto (coolly): Martha’s, we’ve been at Martha’s, and you know how
she likes to talk, and talk and talk.
David: All this time?
Papa Augusto: Maria Sofia eats so slow, you could milk a hundred goats!
Papa Augusto pacing in a circle, dragging his feet, thudding his cane stick... David kisses his daughter, hugs her.
Sofia (to David): The truth of the matter is, your father was in the ‘men’s’ at
Martha’s if you know what I mean… ((?)(Then quietly in a whisper)) That’s why we’re late…
Rosa: We can catch the next train (Rosa goes to kiss Papa Augusto and give him
a big hug, he likes it but the hug is a little too long, and he fusses a tinge, says in his osculating, and higher pitched voice, the one he saves for such occasions:’ Yaw, Okay, okay!’).
Rosa (continues): Why are you here papa?
Papa Augusto: I wanted to surprise Dennis, where is he?
Rosa: Taking a siesta at home. I see pa, you have a tie on Dennis gave you it
looks good on you, and the ring he gave you, Dennis always likes it when he sees you with the ring on, he says it makes you look like a big shot. (Pause.)
Papa Augusto: Now never mind about that, you should have brought Dennis
Rosa (her voice a little dejectedly) I didn’t know you were coming.
Papa Augusto: I had such a hard time getting here with this leg and all, this
stupid cane, up those flights of stairs, coming all the way down on a bus from Huancayo to this dusty-cloudy city, with all the ‘rateros’ (robbers) I just gave them a few of my mean looks and they backed off…Dennis and I are warriors you know… (Pause.)
David: Let’s go back and wake Dennis up, maybe he’ll go Christmas shopping
with us, that will make dad happy?
Papa Augusto: Good Idea, yes, who knows, I’m 100-years old, maybe more, I
may be dead tomorrow, let’s see if he is up, I may never get to see him if we don’t.
Rosa: Okay but you know he likes his naps. Pa you’re 91-years old, not 100.
Papa Augusto: How would you know, you weren’t born yet, they never even
had a birth certificate of me until I went to the courthouse and they wrote down the day I went there, not the ten-years earlier as my birthday should have been? So how old does that make me?
Rosa: Yaw, I suppose there’s some truth to that, ma even said that before she
Papa Augusto (in his osculating, and higher pitched voice): Yaw, Okay, Okay!
…let’s get going.
They walk off the platform, descending down the steps; you can hear the pitter-patter of footsteps, and the dragging of the cane. At the bottom of the steps Papa stops to rest, it would seem he’s thinking initiatively, as if he has a plan.
Sofia: We could have saved all this time ((pause.)(David motions to Sofia, she
has not finished her sentence, they are at the bottom of the station platform, and papa is starting to walk away from them dragging his heels…))
Rosa: I hope you’ll be happy now Dad!
Papa Augusto: Don’t ask me to speak and walk at the sometime, I’m worn out,
end of conversation.
They move on across the street, they halt at the corner to chat a bit.
David: Papa, put your arm around my shoulder.
Papa Augusto: Have you been drinking, I don’t need another cane! (Pause.)
David: you’re quivering some (Pause.)
Papa Augusto: I’m in good enough condition to lead myself.
Rosa: You and your cane are going to fall in the cracks of the sidewalk; you
should let David help you!
Papa Augusto: Pull yourself together; it’s only a few blocks to your house.
Rosa: Let’s get a motor cart, I mean, a taxi.
Papa Augusto: No, no need for it, it’ll cost three soles. ((One dollar) (mumbling
while calculating, 1, 2, 3, 5, people, two cars…))
Rosa: no, one and a half soles, only you and I can go, and the rest can walk to
the house, it’s not that far.
Papa Augusto (Thinking.): The sun’s hot!
David: let’s not argue, the rest of the way is per near all downhill. (Plus, Papa
Augusto, looks firm, and David can see this.)
They walk three blocks; you hear footsteps for a long minute.
Papa Augusto: Do not ask me to count, but this is more than a few blocks.
(Pause. Irritable.) I think they’ve made these blocks longer since last I’ve been here.
Rosa: No paw, it’s the same distance it has always been, you’re just thirty-
years older with a bad leg, it is although all of four blocks, or bit more.
Papa Augusto: Well, if that’s what you call a short walk. (Rosa silent).
Now they are at the house, standing in the front of the door, you can hear Rosa unlocking the door with the key, the door creeps open with a light noise from the hinges. Papa Augusto is tired, not extremely tired, putting on more of a show, than is reality for some reason.
Rosa: One minute please (she turns on the hallway light so everyone can see their
way to the upper section of the house, there are three steps to the next floor, they are in the den.)
Papa Augusto: I think I shall retire, what bedroom you want me to take,
you got six don’t you? (Pause.)
They move on into the house, Papa Augusto dragging his feet, panting, thudding his stick.
Rosa: Now mind the three steps up…up to the living room! …Okay? (Looking
at Papa Augusto, in particular.)
Papa Augusto: I made it. ((Without stopping between steps, he seems a bit proud
wants a little attention, gloats some.)They are now all standing in the living room.))
Rosa: Well we made it (A smile on her face) I’ll see if Dennis is awake.
Papa Augusto: No need to, you folks go do whatever Christmas shopping you
got on your minds, I’ll stay here, and when he wakes up, I’ll let him know.
Rosa: Let him know what? I mean he already knows we are out to do some
Christmas shopping that was what our original intentions were you know.
Papa Augusto: No-ooo, not that, I know that—don’t let me stop you from your
shopping—but I’ll let him know I’m here. All this stopping and starting back up, made me tired.
Puzzlement seems to befall everyone.
Maria Sofia: Is everything okay, ma? (Looking at Sofia’s bewilderment look.)(No
response, just a finger over her lips as if to say be quite, and wait a minute as for her to figure out what in tar nation is going on.)
Papa Augusto (Brokenly.) What was that! (Cries coming from behind Rosa’s
Rosa: That’s the little boy of Lola’s next door, Denial, he cries all the time,
makes Dennis crazy, he yells at Daniel now and then tells him to be quiet, stop the crying, and he does for a while. ((Silence.)(Dogs start barking out in the park across the street, which is directly in front of the house, only a street separating them—Cherry Park))
Sofia (In nearly a normal tone, with a slight irritation to it, to David.): Do you, or do
you not want to go Christmas shopping? At least I hope you do! (Back to normal-normal tone.) Let’s rest and start back up again, I mean head on back to the train. (David looks hesitate.)
David: I was thinking, maybe we can go tomorrow.
Sofia (Startled.) Really!...
Papa Augusto is looking about, he hears the little boy starting to cry again, dogs barking outside, the train halting a few blocks away, the iron and steel wheels making a squeaking noise, Christmas music coming from some place.
Papa Augusto: Now what was I going to say. ((He’s trying to remember what he
was thinking.)(Pause.)) Oh yes, tomorrow I want to visit the racetrack!
Rosa: You do have your moments Pa. I might just as well do some house
work before Dennis wakes up, it looks as if I’m not going anyplace. If he gets up and sees you walking here and there he make think you’re a robber, and God knows what then, maybe shoot you.
The Child is crying again…
Papa Augusto: That’s one healthy child!
Rosa (to her father): Did you eat at Martha’s?
Papa: No, nothing solid, if that is what you mean.
Rosa: Well what did you eat? (Pause.)
Papa Augusto: Something she got at Metro, or Wong, or Plaza Vea, or maybe it
was Totus, her specialty grocery stores.
Rosa: Well what did you eat?
Sofia: Yes, indeed he ate.
Papa Augusto: I confess I forgot what.
Maria Sofia: I think grandpa you had two pantone slices, a coke, parts of three
eggs and a banana, and something out of a package.
Papa Augusto (everyone looking at Papa Augusto, starting to laugh): This cane
takes a lot out of a person when he walks. (He clears his throat) I’ll take a sandwich Rosa if you got one.
Rosa: Peanut butter will have to do, and wheat bread.
Papa Augusto: Yaw, Okay, okay! (In a high osculating voice.)
Note 1: Written out in an afternoon on the 20 of December, 2012, on top of my roof patio in Lima, Peru, written out in longhand, seemingly it appears to lack luster, and to be a little weak, although it has a few comic throbbing moments, dramatic dialogue, with some hint in suitability. Rewritten in better form, 12-29-2012; a short and playful;, play with near 2300-words total. #983
Note 2: The drawing for this Radio Play, is of Rosa Peñaloza by the Author,,