pt 61: THE SLOWER ROAD

Scampi: Peter, I don’t know what to think.

 

Peter: Oh? Why is that?

 

Scampi: Well, I don’t know.

 

Peter: Hardly surprising, I suppose.

 

Scampi: Everything’s going so slowly.

 

Peter: I thought you said just the other day that time was whipping past at an appalling rate.

 

Scampi: Perhaps I did. But things are going very slowly as well.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: Something or other haunts my dreams.

 

Peter: Something or other?

 

Scampi: Yes. It haunts me.

 

Peter: What does?

 

Scampi: I just told you.

 

PETER FUMBLES HIS GLASSES IN FRUSTRATION.

 

Scampi: Oh, don’t give me that.

 

Peter: Give you what? I’ve given you nothing.

 

Scampi: No one’s going to argue with you on that score.

 

Peter: Pardon me?

 

A NORTH SEA FOG DESCENDS UPON PETER’S HEAD, MUFFLING HIS VOICE.

 

Scampi: I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean that. You are a gift. A treasure, to be sure.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Look, I didn’t mean that.

 

Peter: That I’m a treasure?

 

Scampi: No, the other part. Let’s forget it.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: Sweet equanimity.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: I’m not sure what to make of anything, at present.

 

Peter: Oh?

 

Scampi: I know you’re not a big fan of jazz, for example.

 

Peter: What is that an example of, pray tell?

 

Scampi: Your musical tastes.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: No jazz: check. But me on the other hand.

 

Peter: But you on the other hand.

 

Scampi: That seems pretty much all there is to say about it, really. I am on another hand. If I’m anywhere at all.

 

PETER SCRATCHES HIS HEAD.

 

Scampi: Are you very restless today?

 

Peter: No, I don’t think so. Why?

 

Scampi: All this moving about with your head and your accessories.

 

Peter: I do not feel that there has been undue movement.

 

Scampi: Well, not undue, no.

 

Peter: Then we are agreed.

 

Scampi: I love it when that happens!

 

PETER CLEARS HIS THROAT.

 

Scampi: What would you compare me to, if you had to compare me to something?

 

Peter: I would not.

 

Scampi: A mountain? A bird’s nest?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: It was worth a try.

 

Peter: What was?

 

Scampi: The poking, the prodding. It’s nice to figure out what’s going on.

 

Peter: In my warehouse of analogy?

 

Scampi: Precisely.

 

Peter: I believe that building belongs to you.

 

Scampi: I suppose it does.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi (magnanimously): But you may visit whenever you like.

 

Peter: You are too kind.

 

Scampi: Ain’t it the truth. When was the last time you used a hammer?

 

Peter: Me?

 

Scampi: No, the postman.

 

Peter: What postman?

 

Scampi: Yes, you. A hammer. When did you use one last?

 

Peter: That’s not really the sort of thing I keep track of. That is to say,

 

Scampi: Maybe to put up a picture in your house?

 

Peter: Maybe.

 

Scampi: If I pressed a hammer into your hands at this very moment, what would you do with it?

 

Peter: I don’t know.

 

Scampi: Well. There you go, then.

 

Peter: What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: Tools.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi (dreamily): I don’t know, either.

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