May 26, 2018
SCENE ONE: IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S DRESSING ROOM
Potiphar: (Holding a scroll and reading from it) So we are expecting twenty carriages from Midian. How many baths of oil, Joseph?
Joseph: One hundred and fifty Sir. Twenty barrels of oil Sir. Thirty caskets of wine from the vineyards of Ethiopia. Fifty sacks of salt from the islands of Tarshish. They arrive before the new moon
Potiphar: Any bales of silk? I do not want a crisis in my bedroom. He hee heee
Joseph: (Bows) more than fifty bales sir. (smiles knowingly). Sir, I received word from Her excellency. No silk caravans, no wines for the men’s quarters. I perfectly understood, Sir
Potiphar: Hrumph… if we are all on the same page, that is good. What else is on the calendar?
Joseph: A meeting at sunset with governors from five provinces Sir. The priest of On has demanded to be present
Potiphar: I can’t stand that man
Joseph: May I preside over the meeting for you, Sir
(A stir at the door. All servants begin to bow or prostrate. In sweeps Gomer, wife of Potiphar, dressed in precious stones, a caftan and exuding exotic blends of perfumes. Gomer kisses Potiphar. Joseph bows his head and will not look up)
Gomer: Joseph! I did not expect to meet you here. My lord Potiphar. I miss you. I have a few things to tell you
Joseph: My lord may call me back if I am needed Sir. I shall be in the working quarters
Gomer: (places a hand on Joseph) No need to go, son. You need to hear what I have to say
Potiphar: Then speak, my flower. Joseph, stay. You can better answer her questions
Gomer: I need a holiday to be named after me. I need more favor with the people
Potiphar: (steals a look at Joseph) And why do you need a holiday, my pearl of great price. Are you not the best dressed woman in all of Egypt. Have I not given you all that you want?
Gomer: Hmmmmm. There are still some things I want that I’m yet to get. (smiles slyly at Joseph)
Potiphar: (sounding anxious) Just tell me? You know all I need to know is to hear you say your needs
Gomer: I know. And I shall speak soon. He who feels it, knows it
Joseph: (head still bowed) Sir, may I come back, please?
Potiphar: Yes, yes
SCENE TWO (IN JOSEPH’S WORKING QUARTERS)
Joseph is pacing up and down. Praying. Gomer enters. Joseph looks up startled
Gomer: This is the third time I have walked into your quarters this week, Joseph. Do you realize that? (she smiles)
Joseph: (sits at his desk. Head bowed) Yes, Your Excellency. The first time, you talked about silks. The second time, you wanted more flowers in the women’s quarters. I thought you could send your head maiden to tell me, please
Gomer: And miss precious private moments with you?
(Joseph’s head is bowed and he is silent)
Gomer: I brought you treasure. A ruby. Here. Take it. What is your price? I will pay it
Joseph: Thank you, your excellency. I have no price, please. I am here to serve. I am only a slave
Gomer: Call me flower. Call me peach. That is better. Call me a fruit of your taste. I know you love peaches. I am the slave of your heart, Joseph. You have captured me
(Joseph is silent again. Head bowed)
Gomer: Touch me, please Joseph. If I have to spell it out, I will. Touch me. Anywhere. Just return what I have for you (reaches out for his hand). Touch my hair. Touch my breast. Touch me.
Joseph: (fear and panic written all over him, prostrates) Your excellency. I implore you. May lightning strike me dead, if I touch you the way you are asking me to
Gomer: Get up, please, Joseph. Be my man. Get up. I also implore you. (She kneels by him. Starts fondling him. Joseph jumps up. She hurries up, and falls down) The next time you try anything so crazy, Joseph. I will hurt you. Come down here. Come to me on the floor here.
(Joseph runs out of his room. Gomer sits on the floor a few minutes. In walks Joseph’s butler. With some clothes)
Butler: (recognizes Gomer) Ewuooeeiiii. Your Excellency! What is the problem? What brings you here? Why are you down?
Gomer: (gathering her robes around her) Get out of my way! His Excellency must hear what happens in his house. Treasures are to be treasured. Not spilled. Get out! (She storms out)