Microsoft word - in bed with my mother
Paul, a San-Francisco based lawyer, is anxious about coming home for the first time after his mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma. Minda, a middle-aged homemaker, gets an unexpected visit from her son whom she hasn’t seen for three years.
Isay, the maid, watches television all day while taking care of a sick woman.
In Bed With My Mother is a play about love, forgiveness, kindness, and other words that seem hopeful.
Night. In a bedroom. The bed is in the middle of the stage beside a door. There’s a bedside table
on its left and a lampshade on its right. A rocking chair is situated on the front left corner.
, thirty-something; think Piolo Pascual out of the closet. MINDA
, fifty-something; think Gina Pareño who speaks straight English. ISAY
, twenty-something; think any maid in History.
(MINDA IS ON THE BED, HER BACK RESTING ON THE HEADBOARD. THERE IS A
(thinks for a moment):
(rolls her eyes):
I asked him. I was like ‘who are you?’ and he said ‘I’m her son’ and I was all ‘yeah right’ and he
said ‘seriously’ and I’m like ‘okay’.
(PAUL ENTERS THE ROOM, CARRYING A HUGE BAG ON HIS LEFT SHOULDER.)
You let him in? What if he wasn’t my son? You just let a stranger come in my house without
Yes, you’ll be sorry when he steals from me, rapes you, and sticks a mop inside your—vagina.
I saw it on the news. People do that these days. A bunch of psychos, I tell you.
Exactly my point. But Little-Miss-Idiot here thinks she knows better.
Okay Ma, that’s enough. I’m neither a thief nor a rapist. (offers his hand to Isay) Paul.
Just Paul. Thanks for the coffee, by the way.
She made you coffee? How long were you out there?
She was nice and hospitable. She let me wait in the living room because she thought you were
There’s nothing left to do. I’m tired all the time. I haven’t even left this room for a month.
If she wasn’t, she wouldn’t be cleaning houses.
I don’t care. I’m old and I get a free a pass.
She’s here because her mother died, her father left her, and she didn’t finish High School.
We talked. (pause) Are you telling me you didn’t even ask her why she ended up here?
It’s not important. I’m her boss, not her shrink.
You’re living in the same house. What if she is some psycho who creeps into your room and
You gave her the idea. It’s only a matter of time.
(rolls her eyes):
Can you drop the subject? Talking about Isay is making me sick—sicker.
Are you tired? I can get Isay to fix your room.
Now you’re just making me laugh. Why are you really—
God, you don’t have to be so dramatic about it.
That’s what you wanted me to say right?
You want balcony seats to my wasting away.
I bet you’re enjoying this, watching your mother frail and weak. You can’t wait for me to breathe
If you’re here to claim the money you’re getting, you’re wasting your time.
My so-called inheritance? Is there even any?
Your father doesn’t want anything to do with it.
It’s up to you. Just don’t sell it. I’ve done a lot to make this place what it is now and I want it to
stay that way. I don’t like the idea of other people using my kitchen and my toilet.
If this is your attempt to get me to live here, it’s not working.
I live in San Francisco and that is my home now.
You were thirteen. You did it in your room.
You weren’t so smart. You left the door unlocked.
So you just stood there and watched me pleasure
I thought it was remarkable! You were a very quiet boy, distant and aloof. I thought for a while
you were incapable of having sexual feelings. Of course, I didn’t know you were gay then.
The fact that you’re even asking is why I’m upset.
I’m your mother. I was supposed to see those things.
That’s what mothers do, Paul. They embarrass their children.
And you’re pretty good at that. You’ve made every single moment of my life worth killing
You know what, I’ve been trying to keep myself—wait, what did you just call me?
Aside from dealing with Isay every day, I’m good.
I told you I’m good. You’re here now. I’m good. Never better.
We were having a moment. We were bickering and laughing and finally talking. I’m good.
Because that’s all there is to it. I’m fine. You didn’t have to come really.
Okay, so now you’re making me feel guilty.
I’m not. I just thought once you heard I had cancer, which was about six months ago, you
could’ve come right away. I know you were busy with work and defending criminals, and I
didn’t want you to leave everything just because of me and I get that, even if I was really sick at
You did and I understand. I love that you love your job and you have good work ethic. It’s
admirable. I was just mortified when Dr. Santiago gave me the results and I felt really alone. I
Wow, you’re really good at this passive-aggressive shit.
You’ve really mastered your craft. This is why I gave up arguing with you.
You’re worse than the other lawyers in court. I could never win with your I-gave-up-my-dreams-
just-to-raise-you stories. Seriously, how could I fight back with that?
That’s not winning. That’s being a coward.
Maybe, but you still made a decision for yourself. You were tired of our endless arguments and
my constant disapproval of everything you do. You made a choice and—
(SILENCE. PAUL EXAMINES THE ROCKING CHAIR.)
I can’t believe it’s still here. (rocks it back and forth) It still works!
It’s not a machine, Paul. It doesn’t just break down.
(ISAY ENTERS THE ROOM WITH A TRAY ON HER HAND. A BOWL OF SOUP, GLASS
(PAUL TAKES THE TRAY FROM ISAY AND PLACES IT ON THE BEDSIDE TABLE.)
I don’t want you to go to any trouble.
It’s no trouble at all. I can cook anything you want… (smiles) Paul.
She’s clearly flirting. I don’t want to get her hopes up.
That’s fine. I just thought you were nice.
Thanks. (pause) How long have you been working here again?
I’m patient and I’m good with difficult people.
Especially when she’s in one of her moods and she just talks and talks and talks, and I’m like
And she’s like ‘you’re doing everything wrong’ and I’m like ‘shut up. why don’t you do it?’
(ISAY LEAVES THE ROOM. MINDA REACHES FOR THE BOWL.)
(PAUL TAKES THE BOWL AND SITS ON THE BED BESIDE MINDA.)
Whatever happened to Elsa? She was your maid the last time I was here.
Really? She seemed trustworthy. (pause) What did she steal?
(thinks for a moment):
She was suspicious and she was about to steal something. I could sense it.
That’s insane. You think everyone steals from you.
This is why no one ever stays with you. You think they’re always up to something, and you just
Yes. It’s like she ate dog poop or something.
No, I mean you fired her because she had breath?
If you had smelled it, you would’ve done the same.
Sometimes I just don’t get how your mind works.
Although I feel bad for Inday. Having that name alone, it’s like she was destined to be a maid.
Already? I just woke up and I feel sleepy again. I hate being sick.
I told you, I don’t want to talk about it.
You brought it up, and sooner or later, we’re going to have to talk about it.
(PAUL HANDS MINDA HER PILL. SHE DRINKS IT.)
The last time I called, you said the cells diminished.
There’s no Stage Five. Next level is up heaven. Or hell, if Isay’s wishes ever come true.
I’ll call Dr. Santiago so we can schedule you for the treatment.
I’ll lose my hair. I have beautiful hair.
(PAUL HOLDS MINDA’S HAND. SHE WALKS OVER TO THE ROCKING CHAIR AND
The doctor said I’m too weak to survive surgery.
A few pills won’t save your life. We have to exhaust every treatment there is.
Watch you’re language. A little respect for fuck’s sake.
So you think God will miraculously heal you from cancer?
He’s testing me. He’s testing all of us.
Fine let’s do it your way, but don’t blame me if those pills fail you. And when you’re dead, I’ll
be the first one to say ‘I told you so’. I mean, I’ll say that—on—your—grave.
I don’t want you to think I’m giving up because I’m not. I just don’t want to spend the next few
days on a hospital bed with wires all over me. Your father and I talked about this and it would
So you just decided to forget what he’s done and move on?
We had to make peace eventually. We were good for each other and we had good years together.
You know, once you love someone, you never stop loving them. Maybe a little less or maybe
differently, but you never stop loving them.
She has a way with words. She’s the megastar for a reason.
We were a happy family once, you know that.
Yes, until he started fucking one of his students.
It wasn’t a one-time thing. They’re still together.
Stop being so hard on your father. No pun intended.
I’m surprised you’re not. And you were not the only one who got left behind. He left me too! He
just ran away and played house with that slut. No wonder I was a fucked up kid.
He did. You don’t remember this but when you were a baby, he would sit on this chair and rock
Is this the part where I’m supposed to cry? Because I won’t.
(ISAY ENTERS THE ROOM WITH A GLASS OF WATER.)
Where did you get that? From a well in Africa?
Yes and I took the garbage out as well. After that, I felt really dirty so I also took a hot shower.
You see what I have to deal with everyday?
I also fixed your room. I put fresh sheets on the bed so you can sleep comfortably. If you get
scared in the middle of the night because you know, you haven’t slept there in a long time, my
(rolls her eyes):
(ISAY LEAVES THE ROOM. PAUL’S PHONE RINGS. HE TAKES IT OUT FROM HIS
Sorry I have to take this. I’ll be back one minute.
Hey! Yes I got here about two hours ago. I’m still jetlagged but I’m fine. You just woke up? You
don’t have to worry, I’m good. Well, you know how she is. Yes, she’s here. She’s on her
medication. Yes. Okay. Enjoy your day. I love you too.
(MINDA DOES NOT RESPOND. HER EYES ARE CLOSED.)
(PAUL STARTS TO LOOK WORRIED. HE WALKS OVER TO HER)
Don’t get too excited. I’m not dead yet. I’m just resting my eyes.
(PAUL HELPS MINDA GET UP AND LEADS HER TO THE BED. MINDA SIGHS.)
Do you want me to leave? I can go to my room now.
No. (pats the bed) Here, take the other side.
(PAUL GOES BACK TO THE BED AND LIES BESIDE MINDA. THEY ARE SILENT FOR
He just got a book deal. They’re publishing his novel next fall.
(looks at Paul):
There’s something you’re not telling me.
I know you. Is Mark cheating? Do you have AIDS?
It’s a big step! I know we’ve been together long enough and having a baby might be the next
logical thing to do, but—I’m just not sure if I’m ready to be a father.
I don’t. (pause) How did you do it? Raise a child by yourself.
I don’t know. It was difficult not having your father around to help me. I guess you just have to
take it one day at a time. Plus, I don’t think I’m one to give advice about Parenthood. I’m not the
(THEY BOTH LAUGH. MINDA RESTS HER HEAD ON PAUL’S SHOULDER.)
(holds Minda’s hand):
I’m sorry I wasn’t here when you needed me.
Remember when I was kid, like five or six. Every time there was a storm and I got scared, I’d
cry in the middle of the night and I would go to this room and crawl up on this bed. You would
hold me tight and say everything’s going to be all right. I always felt better afterwards.
Is this the part where I’m supposed to cry?
Yes it is. (pause) I know I don’t say this often but—I love you, Ma.
Stop talking, Paul. I’m trying to sleep.
(PAUL SMILES AS HE REACHES FOR THE LAMPSHADE ON HIS SIDE AND TURNS IT
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