She lived every day as if it were her last. And at 91, wasn’t that the point of it all? Lost in a haze of old age. An infinite world of back thens, while seemingly trapped in today. But for her, that was more than enough. It was everything. For today is today, but tomorrow is still but a night’s dreams away. Meanwhile, the people surrounding her, supporting her, suffer in silence. She sits unaware — Content. Smiling into the void. “Today is my birthday.”
It was sunny. Not too hot; but bright enough for the sun to reflect off pavement. As a luxury SUV pulls into the assisted living facility, its passengers mentally prepare.
“Sometimes she’s not all there,” the Father warns his 20-year-old son.
“She has good days and bad days,” the Mother added.
The family of three exits the vehicle, sunglasses shielding emotions, as sweat perspires from each member’s hairline. They trudge through the sun-beaten pathway toward a screen door. As they enter—
“Hello?! Rosie?! Hortensia?! We’re here!” At first, no response; suddenly—
WHOOSSHH! The sounds of a toilet flush echoes from the other side of the condo.
“Hello?! Who’s there?!” The shaky voice of a woman calls back.
The family of three still stands near the doorway as 91-year-old Rosie Morgan rounds the hallway corner. She grips the arm of her live-in caretaker, Hortensia, as she eagerly shuffles toward her guests.
Hortensia, a middle-aged Hispanic woman with friendly age lines streaking up and down her doting face, scurries to the kitchen. She quickly reenters as the foursome sits around the coffee table. Hortensia hands each guest, plus Rosie, a tall glass of Pink Lemonade.
Rosie, happily bewildered, rotates around the room smiling at each face that greets her. A silence sits as they sip their drinks.
Rosie turns to the Mother.
“You know you look just like my mother.”
The Mother smiles; flattered. “Thank you, Aunt Rosie. Your mother was my Bubbie.”
“Have you seen a picture of her? You look just like her. Hortensia, show her the picture of my mother.”
“I know what she looked like Aunt Rosie.”
“How have you been, Rosie?” the Father asked. “We haven’t seen you since the Bar Mitzvah.”
“Whose Bar Mitzvah?” she responded, dismayed.
The Father assures her, “One of your many beautiful grandchildren.”
Rosie suddenly calms. A smile forms across her face. She sits back and smiles. “Mmm. My grandchildren. That’s good.”
“That’s right” the father advances. “Those are your daughter’s children. And then your son’s kids are all grown now and doing very well.”
Rosie sips her lemonade, but mostly caresses the cold, sweating glass.
“Mmm. That’s good to hear.”
The father smiles and nods in agreement.
“And who are you again?” Rosie asks aloud.
Here’s a short film I wrote three years ago and shot a year and a half or so ago with the help of friends Ross Klein, Casey Roberts, Adam Kipfer, Evan Ong, and Max Blank.
It’s crazy finally seeing this shit—I give you, The Placebo Effect.
This one’s for the adorable baby passed out in my house. Rock out with your baby cock out, Seth.