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The Labors of Biblical Themes
by Julie Michaelson
11/09/10
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And
the Lord
appeared
to him
by the oaks
of Mamre,
as he sat
at the door
of his tent
in the heat
of the day.
[Genesis 18:1]
*******************
"Where did people
SIT,
Lord?"

[SILENCE.]

(Impatient shout.)
"BACK,
in THOSE days!"

[PATIENT VOICE.]
"What days,
My beloved."

"In THOSE days!"
(Squirm.)
"Back..THEN!"

[PAUSE.]
"What are
you sitting
on,
My beloved?"

(Laugh!)
"YOU know
what I MEAN!"
(Laughing.)
"They didn't have
any LAWN CHAIRS!"

[PATIENT NOD.]

"It's really HARD:
writing a STORY!"

[WISE GAZE.]
"For you,
child?"

(Impatient shake of
the scruffy head.)
"Well......for back THEN...!
I wanna' put Sarah
and Abraham
sittin' outside, at night:
TALKING."
(Pop open a soda can.)
(Take a slurp.)
"They HAVE TO BE
LOOKIN' AT THE STARS!"

[NOD.]
"I understand,
child.
What of it."

(Impatient yell.)
"Well.....WHERE AM
I GONNA HAVE THEM,
SIT?"

[CHUCKLE.]
"Outside."

"Yeah, but.....what did
they DO: Sit on a
BLANKET..?
On a ROCK?
They didn't
have anything to SIT
ON, in those DAYS!"
(Thoughtful squint.)
(Slurp.)
"Did they even have..
CUSHIONS?
Or, PILLOWS?"

[NOD.]
"They weren't any
different,
child."

"They had PATIO
FURNITURE?"

[PATIENT SIGH.]

"And....did
husbands and wives..
TALK to one another,
back THEN?"

[PATIENT PAUSE.]
"Do they talk
to one another,
now?"

(Shrug.)
"I DUNNO.....
I'm DIVORCED!"
(Smile up at the ceiling.)

[FROWN.]

"Hey, don't get
mad at ME!
He left....ME....
REMEMBER?"

[SILENCE.]

"Yeah, I know.
That's another TOPIC,
ain't it?"
(Laugh.)
"So, what do I do
with this.. STORY?"

[SMILING.]
"Which one,
child?"

(Irritable sigh.)
"This one about
Sarah...and ABRAHAM!"

[GAZE DOWN AT
RUMPLED CHILD,
WEARING TWO PAIRS
OF GLASSES AND
SLURPING ON A
STRAWBERRY CRUSH.*]
"Write it."

"Yeah, but I still
don't know where
to have them SIT?"

[PAUSE.]
[TURN TO HIS RIGHT.]
[CHUCKLE!]
"On their
tok'hes**."
******************
He lifted up
his eyes and looked,
and behold,
three men stood
in front of him.
When he saw
them,
he ran
from the tent
door
to meet them.
[Genesis 18:2]
_________________
*The non-diet kind.
With the way
American politics
are going, there won't
be any Social Security
left for the author's
old age, anyway.
**Yiddish: pronounced
'tucch'has' (rear ends).



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