Felix Silla, lived in room #106. He was short, hairy, bald, with light brown hair on the sides of his head, and on the back of his head too. His right leg wouldn’t bend when he walked, and his left leg dragged. He would always wear shorts that grazed his knees and a tee-shirt that hugged his firm body. The tee-shirts he wore never came down past his waist line. He would smile every-time you say something to him, even the simplest hello. When someone would make a joke or say something funny, he would put his right hand over his open mouth, the palm of his hand facing out and throw his head back.
It’s been a long time, Felix. I still feel joy, when you come to my mind.
On Saturday mornings, I used to put out mail. In the residents mail boxes. Once it was passed out. I made an announcement over the intercom. Felix was always the first one down and others soon followed. He would grab his talking-books he ordered or if he had an envelope he would shuffle to the desk where I sat, and ask me who it was from. And then quietly go back to his room. I don’t know why Felix stood out to me at mail time. It might have been the way he struggled a bit to get down to the mail box so fast to see if there was something waiting for him.
When we went to supper all the residents and him would joke around. They would call him Alpo: One time, he went shopping, and grabbed a can on accident.(This happens a lot because my residents are blind.) There was no shame in Felix game he announced it to everyone one night during supper, and that was always the going joke.
When he would come to the medicine desk at eight-o-clock. He would carry a red, white, and black transistor-radio. He would sit it up on my counter, turn it down, and say”You getting tired yet Shelley” I would tell him. Yes I was, until you showed up! he would turn red, put the back of his hand over his open mouth and throw his head back laughing. He took his medicine and headed straight back to his room.
When I noticed Felix being a bit more quiet and not AS prompt. I would make a pit stop by his room, after all my meds were passed. He would be laying there toward the wall, curled up, with that red, white, and black transistor-radio, tucked inside the circle of his arm listening to music. I’d ask him if he was okay or if there was anything I could do? He’d tell me his neck hurt. I asked him if I could rub it for him. And he said “yes Shelley”
I feel pensive whenever Felix comes to my mind. He comes often. He was one of the first resident who showed me the meaning of humble, not the definition. The way he lived his life. Simple, sweet, funny, and quiet.
The night he passed he was holding on to that red, white, and black transistor-radio