At the Metro of Lima

At the Metro of Lima

((Atocongo Station) (a short radio play))

“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, bitpapa 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, inrealtor 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 from Satipo!

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, furzly 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 along.

Rosa (her voice a little dejectedly) pg79th 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, igaming marketing 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 passed on.

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.


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