pt 60: BEASTS

Scampi: Well, Peter.

 

Peter: Well.

 

Scampi: It seems to me.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Or, to look at it another way.

 

Peter: Hm?

 

Scampi: I’m just trying to appreciate all angles here.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: However.

 

Peter: Indeed.

 

Scampi: I wasn’t finished.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: Have you ever gone to Australia?

 

Peter: I have not.

 

Scampi: Oh. I knew that, actually.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: How do you imagine it to be?

 

Peter: I don’t, really. I don’t think about Australia that much.

 

Scampi: And why would you?

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: But really the question is, why wouldn’t you? Eh?

 

Peter: Because it is not in my brain. There is no need.

 

Scampi: Maybe you need to learn a little more about your neighbours. Did you ever think of that?

 

Peter: What neighbours?

 

Scampi: On this earth. Your fellow men. Your humanoid compatriots.

 

Peter: Humanoid? Do you mean human?

 

Scampi: Don’t patronise me, mister. I know what I mean.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: And I’m not the only one. You know what I mean, too.

 

Peter: Oh really.

 

Scampi: Yes. Anyway, if we need to learn about Australia, we can jolly well learn about Australia.

 

Peter: If.

 

Scampi: That’s right. Besides, I bet you know a lot more about Australia than you let on.

 

Peter: How much are you betting?

 

Scampi: It’s an expression. It means, I am correct.

 

Peter: Hm.

 

Scampi: For example, in Australia, everyone walks around upside down. Did you know that?

 

Peter: Please.

 

Scampi: What? What?

 

Peter: Refrain from this prattle.

 

Scampi: Prattle? Pardon me?

 

Peter: You just said that in Australia people are walking around upside down.

 

Scampi: Perhaps I did. Perhaps they are.

 

Peter: SIGHS.

 

Scampi: The world is rife with strange beasts.

 

Peter: PICKS AT HIS TEETH.

 

Scampi: And perhaps we are the strangest beasts of all. Some of us anyway.

 

Peter: Are you talking about me?

 

Scampi: No. I am talking to you.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Fungi floppily cushion the forest floor. Behind the trees, brown bears dip their magnificent paws in wild honey.

 

Peter: Is this a children’s tale?

 

Scampi: Is that what you think? Bears and mushrooms belong in fairytales?

 

Peter: Perhaps.

 

Scampi: Well, I think they belong in the world. We are all in the world.

 

Peter: Is this what passes for philosophy these days?

 

Scampi: Don’t start with me. Philosophy is welcome to take a long walk off a short pier.

 

PETER REMOVES HIS EYEGLASSES AND RUBS HIS EYES WITH ONE PALE, CRUMPLED PAW.

 

Scampi: I am sure you have no wish to deny the existence of bears, mulching leaves, mushrooms, and Australia.

 

Peter: The existence of them?

 

Scampi: That’s right. You do not deny it. Do you?

 

Peter: Uh. No.

 

Scampi: Precisely! That’s what I’m saying. We’re all in this together.

 

Peter: Well, now—

 

Scampi: Don’t well now me. We are all crunching and whispering across the forest floor. Going from here to there. Looking for a soft place to sleep.

 

Peter: Well yes.

 

Scampi: Of course. There could be a blanket of snow, there could be a blanket of leaves, there could be a blanket of fine alpaca fur.

 

Peter: One has to have dreams, I suppose.

 

Scampi: What?

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What was that?

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: Dreams? Are you talking about dreams?

 

Peter: It was a just a.

 

Scampi: Do you have dreams? Is this what you’re saying?

 

Peter: I wasn’t really. Saying anything.

 

Scampi: Dreams. The finely silted dreams of Peter.

 

Peter: Silted? What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: I don’t know.

 

PAUSE.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I don’t know.

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