Lee Molloy is a twenty-year-old literature student and writer from Dublin, Ireland. Having spent years posting his pieces on his Instagram, he finally decided to start a blog where he can share his writing with the world. His biggest inspirations in writing are F. Scott Fitzgerald, Albert Camus, and Charles Baudelaire.
*Dining room of a small apartment. To the forefront, a dining table with six chairs. On the wall to the left of the table, a window. Hanging on the wall to the right, a picture of the Virgin Mary. In the background, there is a door, a small couch, a coffee table, and a television stand. The shelves in the television stand are filled with books, most of which appear unread. Similarly, there are postcards and travel books scattered across the coffee table, seeming to be more decorative than of any practical use. Upon first glance, the place looks well kept and classy. Upon further investigation, it appears worn and old. *
Voice of a Woman: Bring the cutlery, I can’t do everything myself!
*A woman then enters the room, carrying a large pot filled with pasta. She is old and small, appearing very thin and fragile. She hurries over to the table and immediately places the food onto it.*
Woman: Do you hear me?
Voice of a Man: I’m coming, for Christ’s sake. You wouldn’t be half bad if you had a bit of patience!
*A man then enters the room, carrying cutlery, two glasses, and a large bottle of wine. He places them on the table next to the food.*
Woman: I don’t want any wine tonight. I was reading online that it’s very bad for you. Very, very bad.
Man: More for me so!
Woman: No… You’re not listening to me. It’s very, very, very bad. No one should drink it.
*The man begins to shake his head, as though discouraging the woman from going any further. He picks up the bottle of wine and holds it out before him, facing the woman.*
Man: The only thing that got me through work today was the thought of a glass of this stuff. You can drink all the water you like, I’m having a glass of wine.
Woman: I think the internet knows better than you…
*The man angrily turns, places the bottle back onto the table, and faces the woman once more.*
Man: I don’t care who knows better than who. Even if they wrote on this bottle that one glass would kill me I’d still have it. In fact, I’d drink the whole feckin’ thing. Whatever it takes to get away from you and your moaning!
Woman: I’m only saying it for you…
Man: Well don’t. Every time I walk through that door you have a new thing to tell me that you read about online. If I wanted health advice, I’d go to a doctor.
Woman: But the doctor doesn’t know everything, I was reading online the other day that….
Man: Stop it! For God’s sake woman, don’t finish that sentence! I don’t want to hear it.
Woman: Okay, well, don’t blame me when you die of alcohol poisoning because your doctor didn’t spot it early enough.
Man: Trust me, love, if I get alcohol poisoning the Doctor won’t be the one to blame. It’ll be the one who drove me to drink in the first place!
Woman: And who might that be?
*Man looks Woman up and down. He doesn’t respond. Instead, he turns around and takes his seat at the table.*
Woman: Well aren’t you a miserable oul’ git… if it wasn’t for the kids I’d have left you years ago.
*Man opens the wine and begins to pour himself a glass. Woman sits down and begins to serve herself food.*
Man: Give it a rest. Everything you do is for yourself. You’re a control freak. I’ve put up with it for years, but I won’t put up with it anymore.
Woman: Oh, so you’re going to leave now are you? You gonna’ walk out that door? I’ll hold it open for you if you want? You probably can’t even do that much for yourself!
*Man takes a sip from the glass, swirls the wine around his mouth, and swallows. Woman begins eating.*
Man: Mmm… oaky… with a fruity aftertaste.
*Woman shakes her head and begins to pour herself a glass of water. Man takes his plate and begins dishing up food for himself.*
Woman: Just drop it, I’m not going to argue with an uneducated fool like you. I know what I read online.
*Man begins to eat, talking between spoonfuls.*
Man: Most of what you read on there is rubbish anyways. Typical you… wanting to know it all and always be the one in control, telling other people what to do… God love you, it must drive you mad living in a world where everybody doesn’t follow your orders and wishes!
*Woman stops eating for a moment and grins, then resumes eating.*
Woman: Just because I’m more sensible than you doesn’t mean I’m a control freak.
*Man lifts his glass and sips from it again . He closes his eyes this time as he swirls the wine around his mouth, swallowing after a few seconds.*
Man: Ah forget it, I’ve put up with it for thirty years. Too late to change now.
Woman: I don’t need to change.
Man: I’m the one that needs to change…
*Man pauses for a moment before continuing*
change feckin’ wife.
*Woman laughs quietly into her pasta*
Woman: If I didn’t despise you I’d probably have laughed at that!
Man: If I didn’t despise you I probably wouldn’t have said it.
*Both reach for their glasses. The woman takes a large drink of water, while the man sips three times from his wine glass.*
Man: I did love you, y’know.
Woman: I loved you too as well… for a while.
Man: When did you stop?
Woman: When I sobered up.
*The pair laugh together*
Man: You owl’ cun… I didn’t want to laugh at that one!
*The pair drink once more.*
Man: Why did we do it to ourselves? Why stay together all these years when we didn’t love each other?
Woman: For the kids.
Man: Kids. Kids. Kids. Everything for them. I love them and all, but my God if I could go back…
Woman: Don’t say that! You say a bad word about my kids and that bottle is goes around your neck!
*Man raises his hands as though to plead his innocence*
Man: No.. No… Not at all… Nothing bad… I’m just saying that… eh… that I would have waited a little longer. I can’t even remember what life was like before I had them.
Woman: I can remember.. you were a fool with gel in his hair and a drinking problem. Now you’re a fool with no hair and a drinking problem. Being a father was the only useful thing you’ve ever done.
*Man squints his eyes, as though to suggest that the woman’s description was inaccurate.*
Man: It was wax in my hair. Besides, you were the girl with slutty lipstick and short skirts, only once you popped a child out of you did you get a bit of respect for yourself!
*Woman drops her fork, infuriated.*
Woman: Good thing for you so, because God knows if I had of any self respect sooner I’d never have gone within ten feet of a mess like you!
*Both drink from their glasses.*
Man, calmly: At least the kids turned out alright. Not like the two of us…
Woman: I can agree with you there. If anything I’m glad we had them when we did, I wouldn’t be able to raise kids in this day and age. All the phones and Facebook and all sorts, I wouldn’t have the nerve for it!
Man: You’d manage. They’re just kids at the end of the day, they listen to their parents.
*Woman smirks at the man’s remarks*
Woman: If you seen the way the young ones walked around these days you’d change your mind! I watch them out the window when I’m cleaning, walking by, with their shorts that wouldn’t cover a stain and their big lips and poses. No respect for themselves!
Man, disinterested: Different times we live in. Can’t compare the two.
Woman: You know nothing… I see them out the window, walking by… I hear it on the news as well, and read about it online. Can’t keep a thing to themselves. Have to share everything
they’re doing at every moment. Live for the attention that they get online and think all that matters is their followers and what not. It’s a disgrace!
*Man rolls his eyes and drops his fork*
Man: Would you ever give over. They’re only kids, leave them be.
*Woman drops her fork*
Woman: Exactly! They’re kids. And they walk around with their expensive phones and expensive make-up and designer clothes. In my day, kids spent their days making memories. Nowadays, the kids spend their days worrying about what everyone else is doing and saying and thinking.
Man: Why does it bother you so much?
Woman: Because it shouldn’t be that way!
*Man raises slightly in his chair and lifts his arms.*
Man: The Lord has spoken.
*Woman rolls her eyes.*
Woman: You know nothing. They see the world through a screen.
Man: And you see it through a window.
Woman: And you see it through a bottle.
Man: And none of us like what we see. Why does it matter?
Woman: Because it’s not right!
Man: It’s not right? What sort of statement is that! Is anything right? Is it right that we live together and can’t stand each other?
Woman: This is different…
*Man slams his fists against the table*
Man: It’s not! Nothing is right with the world. So give over with your theatrics and let me eat my dinner in peace.
Woman: Really? A man of God like yourself is going to sit here and say nothing is right in this world?
*Man picks up his glass, finishing whatever is left all at once. He then pours himself another.*
Man: God… What did he ever give me but arthritis and throat cancer? Don’t start with your ‘I’m a Christian’ moral high-ground talk.
*Woman spits the food from her mouth.*
Woman: How dare you utter those words in this place. My home is God’s home. Apologise now, I don’t want bad luck brought into this home.
Man: Bad luck is already in this house… And it’s facing me!
Woman: Why don’t you leave then?
Man: Because I’ve nowhere else to go.
*There is a long silence between the two, lasting no more than ten seconds. Then, both drink at the same time.*
Woman: Was the pasta nice?
Woman: Is that you or the wine talking?
Man: What’s the difference?
*Both laugh heartily together, to the point where their faces become red due to their inability to catch their breath. After about thirty seconds, they begin to get their breath back. Both take a large sip from their drinks, and continue breathing heavily.*
Woman: Are you trying to kill me?
Man: Not at all. I’m going to croak it any day now, God forbid I kill you first and you’re waiting for me somewhere in the afterlife. I haven’t got a minute’s peace in this life, God knows I deserve some in the next!
Woman: Ah you’re not so sceptical of the Lord now, are you?
Man: I think it’s all a load of shite… but I’ll go along with it just in case.
Woman: You’re lucky he’s forgiving!
Man: After all he’s put me through, he’s the one that should be looking for my forgiveness.
Woman: He only ever gave you what you needed.
Man: That’s not true.
Woman: How so?
Man: Because I had to go to the off-licence myself to buy this bottle!
*Both begin to laugh together again, this time much briefer and calmer. Both take a sip from their drink again. This time, however, the woman spits her water back into her glass.*
Woman: You know what? All that health shite can ask me arse. Give me that bottle.
Man: I knew you’d come to your senses. If it can’t kill you it’s not adding anything to your life… No one smokes for the taste!
*Woman begins pouring herself a glass of wine.**
Woman: So the only good things in life are the things that nearly kill you, is that what you’re saying?
Man: Exactly! The good things kill you, and the bad things make you want to kill yourself.
Woman: And how can you tell one from the other?
Man: The good things are exciting… and the bad things are wearing a ring and you call them ‘wife’!
*Both break out in heavy laughter again. The man spits out food in order to avoid choking, causing the woman to laugh even more. After a few seconds, the laughter calms and the two return back to normal. They each raise their glasses.*
Man: Sure, we may as well cheers to one more dinner without killing each other.
*They softly touch glasses.*
Woman: You don’t know what I put in that pasta…
Man: You don’t know what I put in that wine…
*Both stare intensely at each other for a couple of moments. Then, they lift their glasses to their mouths and begin to drink. As they are drinking, the curtain closes. Sipping can still be heard for a few more seconds, gently fading into silence.*