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.
*Large, decorated room with grey wall-paper spread across all four walls. To the left hand side, there’s an armchair with the recliner left out. Further along the wall, a window left open. On the right hand side, a television hangs from the wall, turned on. Beneath the television, there is a fire that is lighting. Towards the back of the room, there’s a door, closed. Beside the door, there is a glass dresser, full of bottles of champagne, glassware, framed photographs and books. It looks almost untouched. Scattered on every wall are impressionist paintings. The carpet is only a slightly darker shade of grey than the walls, and the place looks almost untouched, appearing more like an expensive showroom in a fancy furniture store than a living space. The room is silent, save the sound of the rain drops hitting against the window. All of a sudden, the door opens.*
*A young-looking, brunette woman enters the room. She is of average height and size. She is dressed in pyjamas and a housecoat, with her hair suggesting that she has just woken up. She walks in large strides, as though she is in a rush to get to the armchair. In her hand she is carrying her phone, as well as a large, cardboard box.*
Girl: It caaaaaame.
*She leaps onto the armchair, placing the box on her lap and her phone on the armrest*
Girl: Now, let me see.
*She begins to pull the sellotape from the box. It doesn’t work. She takes her index finger and begins to run her false nail through the tape in an attempt to cut it. The tip of the nail breaks*
Girl: Oh my god. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. My nail!
*She puts the box down to assess her injury*
Girl: I can’t believe it! Not my new shellac?! I only got them done last week! What am I going to do? I can’t walk around looking like this!!
*She picks up her phone, types in phone number, and holds the phone against her ear*
Girl: Hello, Mandy? Hey, girl! It’s me. Listen, I know this is super last minute, but have you got any appointments for this afternoon? My nail just completely broke off and it’s so ugly now. I have a party tonight and I can not go like this!
*Five seconds of silence, during which Girl nods her head incessantly*
Girl: Yes, that’s perfect! 3p.m, hun. Thanks gorgeous, I know you wouldn’t let me down. Bye. B-bye. B-b-byeeee.
*Hangs up phone*
Girl: God, I can’t stand her!
*She picks back up box*
Girl: Now, back to this…
*Her newly-sharpened nail cuts much more efficiently through the tape. After a few seconds, the box opens.*
Girl: Finally! Jesus, I’ve been at that all morning.
*She proceeds to pick items from the box*
Girl: I hope it’s all here. I ordered on Saturday, and paid extra for next day delivery. I nearly had a heart-attack on Sunday when I woke up and it wasn’t there. I will flip out if there’s something missing!
*Once all the items are on her lap, she throws the box to the side. She then proceeds rummaging through the items*
Girl: Dress…check. Shoes… check. Bag… check. Back-up bag that I don’t really need but it was too cute not to buy… check. Slippers for when feet my get sore from dancing… check. Necklace… check. Okay, looks like it’s all here. Now, the stress really begins. Time to try it all on. What time is it?
Girl: 11am?! Jesus! My nail app is at 3pm. I need to get a move on!
*Girl picks up all the items and scurries out of the room, forgetting to close the door behind her. A few seconds later, a mature-looking woman walks in.*
Woman: Who’s leaving the doors open? I swear these children must have been raised in a barn.
*She closes the door behind her as she enters the room*
Woman: And what’s that box beside the armchair? Who put that there?
*She approaches the box. Once there, she picks it up, reading the label to herself.*
Woman: Sure who else but that daughter of mine? Typical. Expecting mammy to come by and clean up her mess. She wouldn’t leave her make-up or her dresses on the floor though, would she? Oh no, the world would turn upside down if she was to come home and see her precious little pallets face-down on the carpet. God I’d love to…
*She begins to tear box up*
Woman: Ah, sure, why bother? I’m only making more of a mess for myself anyways.
*She picks up the bits she had torn off, placing them inside the box*
Woman: And of course, the recliner is left out so that the ghost of the house can put his feet up as he watches the morning news.
*She kicks in the recliner with her feet, while picking the remote control from the armchair and turning the television off.*
Woman: I swear to God. With the amount of stuff I have to do today, the last thing I need is to be cleaning up her mess.
*She sits down on the chair, listing out loud all of the things she needs to do for the day*
Woman: Feed the dog. Walk the dog. Meet up with Jackie and Carol for a coffee. Pick up milk. Put the dirty washing in the basket for the cleaner to do tomorrow. Read. Watch Love Island… Jesus, I’d need to have superpowers to get all that done in a day.
*She raises her hand, glancing at her watch*
Woman: And it’s already after 11? For Christ’s sake, is anything going to go right for me today? No. You know what. Forget it. The cleaner can sort the dirty washing out herself in the morning. I’m taking half an hour to relax. Sure, what’s the point in paying her if I’m just going to do her job for her? No, I’ll have some me time instead.
*She opens up the recliner, and turns back on the television. The news is on.*
Woman: Jaysus, last time I watched the news all they talked about was the football. I wonder what’s going on in the world these days.
*She begins to read the headlines as they pass.*
Woman: ‘Famine in Northern Africa’… Ah, God love them. Money-hungry pigs in government, wouldn’t lift a finger unless it made them some money… ‘Trump’s Racist Tweets Spark Controversy’…. Is he still in charge? The lunatic. All his talk about building walls and grabbing women by their private parts. Telling people to go back to their own countries. When’s he going to go back to the chocolate factory then? Little orange face on him. Power-hungry and rich. I hate people like that… ‘Last Night’s EuroMillion’s Jackpot of €98 Million Still Unclaimed’… €98 million? God, the things I’d do for that kind of money. I wouldn’t have to worry about stupid things like walking the dog or going to the shop for milk anymore…
Woman: Wait, I bought a euromillions ticket yesterday when I was buying cigarettes. It’s still in my purse. I haven’t checked it yet.
*All in one movement, she sprung up onto her feet, rushing towards the door and slamming it closed behind her. The room was empty once more. After a few seconds, the door opens. In walks a young-looking, slim boy. He’s wearing shorts, a sleeveless t-shirt, and running shoes, as though he is about to exercise. In his hand, he is carrying a cardboard box. He heads straight towards the recliner, doing bicep-curls with the box as he approaches. Once there, he sits, placing the box on his lap*
Boy: Finally! I’ve been waiting all week on this so I could train.
*Tears open box. Once open, he places his hand inside, announcing that which he finds.*
Boy: Let me see… High Protein Dark Chocolate for some pump action… Pre-workout for reduced fatigue in the lead-up to heavy sessions… Multivitamins so that my micronutrients are all on point and my body is optimised at the micro-level… Birthday Cake with Chocolate Sprinkles flavour Whey Protein…. Beak… Wait a minute…
*Lifts protein bag from box*
Boy: This bag is only 1.5kg?! I order the 5kg. 1.5kg won’t last a week, I’ll practically inhale that. This is a disaster!
*Goes back to box*
Boy: What the…
*Lifts out beaker*
Boy: The beaker is broken! There’s a crack running along the side of it. I can’t use that! Great! Just perfect! I don’t have enough protein and I can’t even drink the protein I do have! Everyone knows protein needs to be drunk from a special beaker in order for the protein particles to become reactive to hypertrophy… all of the Youtubers will say it!
*He is silent for a moment, looking reflectively into the distance. Dejection is written across his face.*
Boy: It’s ruined! I’m six weeks out from my first show and I can’t even begin training because my supplements aren’t right! All of my prep is ruined! You can’t make gains without protein supplements… it’s like the first rule of bodybuilding! I may as well throw all of this stuff in the bin. There’s no point in training unless I have all of the necessary tools to optimise performance and results. Everyone knows that!
*Boy stands up, throwing the box from his lap onto the floor*
Boy: Forget it! I’m going back to my room and making a new order. Once that arrives, I’m taking over. I was born for this. Fitness is my life. I visualise this stuff. My posing is on point. My….
*He continues to mumble incomprehensibly about his love for the gym and fitness right up until he leaves the room, closing the door behind him. The room is empty once more. After a few seconds, heavy footsteps can be heard from the distance. After a few more seconds pass, the door opens. Girl enters the room once more, storming through it like a demon.*
Girl: I can’t believe it! Nothing is right. Dress too tight on my belly. Shoes not shiny enough. Neither of my bags look as cute as they did on the website. And don’t even get me started on the necklace! This is the worst day ever! Where is the box so I can send it all back?!
*She searches for a few seconds, eventually finding it in the same area she had left it.*
Girl: Oh my god! What the hell happened to it? It’s ruined… it’s totally ruined! Torn from top to bottom. I can’t send it back now. First my nail. Then my clothes. Now this. Everything always goes wrong in my life!
*She begins to whimper, as though on the brink of tears*
Girl: Cancelled! Today is so cancelled! I’m not going tonight. I’m going to text my nail tech right now and tell her to give the app to someone else. God, I hate my life!
*She opens her phone, and immediately goes on to Instagram rather than making the phone call*
Girl: Oh my god.. Kylie did what?…. That dress is sooooo cute… Her eye-liner is soo bad… Ohhh those cats are sooo cute…
*After a few moment of scrolling, her phone begins to ring*
Girl: Hello?… Heyyyy girl, I didn’t know who was calling. How are you?….. Yeah I’m great, thanks….. I don’t think so, are you going to go?….. Well, my whole day has just been a disaster really, I’m not in the mood… Well, I don’t know, I don’t even have an outfit… Yeah, but I wore that to the last party…. Yeah, but I already have a picture in that shirt so I can’t wear it again…. Really? You’d lend me that cute shirt you got last week? Have you worn it?… But if I get a picture in it, and it’s cute, can I still post it?… Are you sure?… You know what, you’re the best friend in the world! I’m so excited for tonight! First drink is on me!… Sounds great, I’ll meet you there… Bye hunny… Bye… B-bye. B-b-byeee.
*Hangs up phone*
Girl: Thank God for that, I was about to have a nervous breakdown!
*She reclines on the chair, exhaling heavily as she put her feet up, as though the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders. Then, all of a sudden, she jumps up*
Girl: Her shirt is purple… Purple! All of my shoes clash with purple!
*She takes a moment’s break from her panic for reflection*
Girl: My mam has purple shoes! She won’t notice if I take them for the night, she’ll be too busy reading her stupid book.
*She jumps from the chair, and run towards the door. Once there, she stops to look in the glass dresser.*
Girl: My hair is a mess! I’ll need to wash it. For God’s sake, will I get a break today?!
*She leaves the room hurriedly, slamming the door behind her. The vibration of the door moves one of the paintings on the wall, causing it to hang slightly to one side. The room is empty. The silence resumes. The rain continues to beat against the window from outside. A few long moments pass, and the door opens once more. In steps an elderly-looking man, wearing chords, a loose shirt, and shoes. He enters frantically, rushing around the room, appearing uneasy. In his arm, he is carrying a pile of letters*
Man: This phone hasn’t stopped ringing all day. The next person to call this number is getting blocked. I can’t take it anymore.
*Man looks at the wall*
Man: For Christ’s sake, my painting!
*He rushes over the lopsided painting, taking care as he puts it back into the right position*
Man: No one in this house has any respect for anything. God forbid a man tries to bring a touch of class into his own home!
*He looks at the television*
Man: And who’s going around leaving the television on in an empty room? I’d like to see how quick they are to leave it on when they’re the ones paying the electricity bill.
*He turns and looks at the boxes on the floor*
Man: Are you joking me? Have I come home or to a pig-sty? Cardboard boxes lying around for me to pick up after being at work all day. Ungrateful little…
*He stops and take a deep breath. Then, moves on to his next sentence, rather than finishing his last*
Man: Let me open these envelopes.
*He sits on the recliner, placing the envelopes on his lap. He picks up each one individually, reading them aloud as he does so*
Man: Gas bill overdue… Electricity bill overdue… Phone bill… Mortgage… Missed appointment… Taxes owed… Am I going to get any good news today?
*He drops all the letters back onto his lap, sitting back. He reflects for a moment, looking hopeless*
Man: How am I going to pay for all of this? I don’t even have two pennies to rub together. And the boss only had me in the office this morning telling me that due to a corporate rejuggling they’d have to cut my hours down. I’ll have to get a second job. I’ll have to go back to making burgers at McDonald’s like I did in my college days, or I’ll even have to go back to knocking door to door selling broadband bundles. Imagine, an old man like me trying to sell someone new broadband. They’ll laugh me out of every garden I walk in to. I’ll be the kind of man…
*He stops talking, placing his hand on his shoulder and patting it for a few seconds*
Man: What is that?
*He sees moisture on his fingers. Not knowing what it is, he smells his fingers. It smells like nothing. Suddenly, he realises that the window is open, and rain had been blowing in on top of him*
Man: Oh for the love of… You have to be joking me?! Lashing rain outside and not a single brainiac in this house thinks of closing the window.
*He hurries over to the window, slamming it closed*
Man: Stupid window. Stupid rain. Stupid bills. Stupid house. Stupid mortgage. Stupid food I have to put on the table for this stupid family. Stupid problems that I have to solve all by myself. And my stupid mind hasn’t stopped doing cartwheels from the minute I got up out of the bed this morning. Always thinking. Always worrying. Always stressing.
*He stops talking for a moment, sinking into his armchair. He begins to look intensely at the painting on the wall opposite him. It’s a large canvas, painted with thick brush strokes, depicting the sun rising behind a mountain range.*
Man: The sun. The sun. Oh, the sun. You come from the mountains. The beautiful mountains. But where do you go? Where do you go?
*The man, continuing to look at the canvas, clears his throat. Then, all of a sudden, he sits up, as though having suffered a revelation*
Man: What does it matter where the sun goes at night? Where the clouds will drop their rain? Where the birds will sing their next song? Why should I plague my mind with such questions. Questions. Questions. Questions. All I have these days are questions. Questions and worries. Worries. Worries. Worries. Worries come from not finding answers to questions. Why am I worrying about not finding answers to questions that don’t matter in the first place? Oh, what a life it would be not to think. To hear a word pass from one ear to the next, forgetting it as soon as it’s heard, never getting stuck in my mind. Stuck. Always stuck. Worries. Stress. Stuck. Forget it. Forget it all. It doesn’t matter. I have no more problems. All problems from now, I postpone to death. If they still matter when I’m dead, then I’ll take care of them. If not, then why bother taking care of them at all? I’ll worry later, I’m sure of it. But first, I’ll live. I’ll live I say. I’ll stare this world in the face, look her up and down, and tell her not to bother me until I’m rotting in her soil. And they’ll call me mad. Crazy, even. They’ll worry about me. But I won’t worry. I’ll just live. Let them worry about me. Let them call me crazy. Let them waste their breath talking about how I use mine. I won’t waste a second worrying about them. I won’t worry about anything. After this thought, I’m finished. Finished. Finished I tell you. Done. Done. Do… did I close that window?
*He gets up, turns around, and sees that the window is closed*
Man: I’m losing my marbles. I need some peace and quiet. All this thinking is wearing me out.
*He sinks back into the chair and folds his arms. He closes his eyes, as though he is trying to sleep. After a few seconds, a loud bang can be heard coming from upstairs. He immediately jumps up.*
Man: That’s it. I can’t take it anymore. Whoever that was is going to be sorry.
*The man gets up from his chair and rushes out of the room. On his way out, he closes the door harshly behind him, causing the painting to fall to one side once more. The television is left on. The chair is left reclined. The boxes are left on the floor. The letters rest on the chair. The fire continues to burn. The rain carries on falling.*