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Mashriq & Mahjar 4, no. 2 (2017), 47-65 ISSN 2169-4435 David Joseph DECEPTIVE THREADS The stage is roughly split into two sides. On one side hangfour muslin sacks ranging in sizefrom about 600cm diameter to the size ofa hand. Below them sits an old over-locker with three large spools. Threads from these spools lead up to entwine with threadsfrom the muslin sacks and threads and muslin both hang over to the other side ofthe stage which has two filing cabinets, one with a 1950's typewriter sitting on it. A muslin scrim hangs across the middle upstage area. Above the scrim is aIm wide stretch ofclear white wall usedfor projections, the surtitle area. Scene 1 Muslin from the scrim connects to the over-locker table. Music: 'the world's oldest melody', a Hurrian hymn, Syria, c1400 Be An old crone, Fate, enters with a candle and sits at the over-locker. Fale You! That are born ofmortal womb are slaves by necessity to me, Fate, the sewer, and you shall suffer such things as destiny wove into the strands ofyour birth, the day you were born to your mother and entered the world. The things that were, the things that are, and those things that are yet to be. Get a wiggle on, you haven't got all bloody day. You must look to meet whatever the stern sewer twists into the triple threads as they whirl on with the rushing of your destiny. (She sews). History, fiction - interwoven and retold and cosmic time, well that mediates your mortal rhythms and ties you to those that have come before and those that© Moise A. Khayrallah Centerfor Lebanese Diaspora Studies 2017 48 David Joseph are yet to be. (She sews again). All things must run on in their appointed time, and your first day, well that fixed your last... roughly I tear the threads of flourishing life. (SFX Boom) Projected on muslin sacks, hanging threads, muslin scrim and surtitle area: close up ofover-locker mechanism, dancing threads morphing into DNA and finally, thread magically writing, 'Looking behind me Jsee the threads ofmy ancestors' lives unwinding. ' Scene 2 Hand appears from filing cabinet drawer and types on typewriter. Drawer closes. Opens again and hand throws out DNA letters tied with thread T, A, C, C, A, G etc. Surtitle projection: 'DNA? Research= mesearch' David's shadow head appears behind scrim, searching. He appears with flashlight crawling on ground. He discovers the DNA letters and their shadow appears on the scrim. David (to self) TAG, tag ... eGG... it's some kind of code... It's the coding for DNA. X, Y, Y, Y, Y... The Y chromosome- passed unchanged throughout time from father to son to his son, on and on, unbroken ... David continues to pull on threads, a muslin scarfwith Arabic calligraphy is pulled out ofthe filing cabinet. David lights it with torch. He finds a tag on the end. David Ancient Lebanese proverb: 'A man can no more forget his father and grandfather than a river can forget its source.' Drop scarfBullshit! I didn't even know my grandfather. My father didn't even know his father - he died when he was a baby. How can you forget someone you never knew? Deceptive Threads 49 Slams filing cabinet drawer closed, lights face from below with torch. 1feel like I'm being watched. Torch to audience. Well of conrse I'm being watched, you're watching me - chatty I'm an actor, you're the audience -you're here to watch me tell a story, and I'm here to play the roles, to change identities. Changes into collarless shirt placed on over-locker. Hi, I'm Dave... So, stories. Here's a real life story: The strangest thing happened to me -I got caught up in an ancient tradition without being conscious of it. My grandfather, the one 1 never knew, his name was Elias and his nickname was Eli. Now 1had no idea about that when 1 named my own son Eli - that's a strange enough coincidence in itself, but then 1 found out that it's a Lebanese family tradition to name yonr first born son...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2169-4435
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-13
Open Access
Yes
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