It’s Not About The Garbage

By Marley Clarke


Lydia, a doctor in her late 30s.

Jesus, a fast food worker in his late 30s.


A house in the suburbs.


The present.

Lights up on the living room, it is very large there are two wrap around couches and and a large

brown recliner where Jesus is sitting. He is wearing nothing but boxers and a ratty white wife

beater with food stains on it. There is a large glass table in the middle and a flatscreen TV on

the wall. Jesus is sitting, smirking at his phone but when Lydia walks in from work he quickly

locks it and flips on the TV. Lydia has bags under her eyes and a solemn expression on his

face. She is wearing burgundy scrubs and has a stethoscope flung haphazardly around her

neck. Lydia surveys the kitchen and the overflowing garbage can and watches as he locks his

phone. There are several moments of silence before anyone speaks.

Lydia: So...

Jesus: Hi baby, how was your day?

(She throws herself onto the couch and puts her head in her hands)

Lydia: It was hard, it always is. Jesus I’m not trying to nag you but I asked you to take the

garbage out 3 days ago and there are 2 bags sitting next to the door. (He scoffs.)

Jesus: I know baby, I’ve had a hard couple days at work too

Lydia: I work longer hours at the end of the day Jesus, I’m not undermining what you do it’s just

that all I ask you for is to come home to a clean house. All

you do is sit and text whoever on your phone...who are you even texting at that? The garbage is

smelling up this whole area Jesus, I really don’t ask for much.

(Jesus stands, running his hands through his hair. He is obviously getting agitated at this point)

Jesus: I said, I will get to it when I get to it. Why are you asking about my phone? Do you want

to look through it or that where we are at this point in our marriage Lydia, is that

what we do now?

Lydia: It’s not about your phone, it’s about the fact that I ask one thing from you, one thing and

that is to respect our marriage but you clearly don’t because you won’t take out the FUCKING


Jesus: (He throws his hand up in defeat) Oh so now I don’t respect our marriage. IT’S JUST A


(Fat teardrops begin to form at the corner of Lydia’s eyes)

Lydia: You clearly don’t respect me as a woman, or as your wife. After everything I’ve done for

you, no, for US this is how you repay me? By leaving the garbage there for the flys to come into

the home we created.


(The tears are falling freely now as she stands from the couch and walks up to him, and places

her hands gently on his face, her eyes searching his)

Lydia: What did I do to deserve this Jesus? How have I ever hurt you to make you treat me like


(Jesus grabs her hands and pushes them back to her side and stalks to the large, arching


Jesus: Maybe, if you just spent more time with me. Maybe if you didn’t care so much about that

stupid hospital and those stupid patients and stopped working those double shifts, I wouldn’t

feel so empty inside. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the need to do what I did.

Lydia: Do what, admit what you did Jesus.

Jesus: (stuttering)...not take the garbage out.

Lydia: I work so hard-

Jesus: And that’s another thing!! Do you think i’m some bum? I was never good enough for you,

was I Lydia? I bet you wish you married Carlos: the big bad real estate agent, don’t you? I never

made enough money, I never had a bright enough future for you. I bet it burns you that I LOVE

my job, and that I’m happy there.

(She crosses the room and slaps him across the face, he holds his hand to where she hit and

stares up at her in surprise)

Lydia: Don’t you ever blame me, for ANYTHING. I’ve never looked back, I’ve never loved

another man like I’ve loved you. You seem to be the only one so insecure. I understand that me

having money might make you insecure but that gives you absolutely NO RIGHT to hurt me like

this. It’s always been OUR MONEY, and OUR HOUSE, and OUR CARS.


Lydia: I’ve always only wanted you, you cheating bastard.

(He looks at her in surprise that she acknowledged his infidelity out loud)

Lydia: I don't deserve this, I want you to leave Jesus.

Jesus: Baby please...Im sorry. I’ll stop, I’ll change.

(She drops her to her knees, and he grabs her hands as she slides down the wall)

Jesus: I’ll take the garbage out, everyday until we grow old together like we planned.

Lydia: (sounding defeated) It was never about the garbage Jesus.

Just please, get out.

(He slowly gets up and stands there, as if waiting for her to change her mind. He slowly walks

out the house and into the night. She lays there on the floor for hours, crying and holding


(fade to black)