House of Many Tongues
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Long ago, Israeli General Shimon found an abandoned house and made it home. Forty years later, Shimon, along with his imaginative and distant son Alex, lives in peaceful solitude. When a Palestinian writer shows up with his daughter and lays claim to the house he left decades ago, an internal house war ensues.
Suha: Yeah, well the truth is liable to make anyone puke their guts out. Alex: For some reason I like talking to you. Suha: Get me a shovel. Alex: Do you want me to help you bury your mother? SUHA faints. Blackout. End of Act I. Act II Scene 1 ABU DALO is drunk and alone, playing Scratch ’n Win. Each time he takes a card he scratches it, loses, then throws it into a huge pile. Every time he throws the card he makes a “woo” sound as it glides through the air. Abu Dalo:
Suha: I’m burying my mother. (to ALEX) Dig, kike. (He does.) Alex: Do you like sandboxes? Suha: Piss off. Alex: I used to have a sandbox when I was a kid. Once I dug so deep I actually made it to China. (a beat) I’m much stronger than I look. Suha: You are incredibly annoying. Alex: You’re annoyingly incredible. Suha: Shut up and dig! The Camel: She couldn’t fall in love if you paid her. The House: When people disagree it means they care. Life! (to SUHA) This is a
have a mother? Suha: My mother was screwed up. She used to boil an egg for so long the shell would split and the egg white would get all stringy in the water. Suha as Groucho: She liked to watch things break. Alex: Oh. Suha: When there was a curfew, and the fighting would get so loud you didn’t know who was shooting who, when and if the door would break in, and who would live and who would die, we used to lie together on her bed. She’d hold me. And sing. Alex: And then what? Suha:
they’d been holding them up like this for hours. ID cards on the ground. He saw his soldiers laughing, smoking in the sun. “We’re taking them in,” said the corporal. “Questioning.” One of them was Zayid. Zayid looked familiar, though the General wasn’t sure where he’d seen him before. Was he the neighbour at the kibbutz, the one he’d waved to as a young man? Was he the falafel man, the one in the Arab village he sometimes stopped at on the way to work? He
my God… her thing… it speaks. Melissa’s Vagina: Liberate me. Alex: It says. Liberate you? Melissa’s Vagina: Take me away from him. Alex: It says. But I’m only fifteen, I say. Melissa’s Vagina: It’s time for you to become a man. To travel to where no Israeli has ever gone before. To boldly enter the cosmos. Use your tongue—for a man needs to use his tongue so he can learn to speak in new ways. Cunnilingus. Alex: It says. Cunnilingus? I say.