Scampi: Are you aware of how the twits of Russia felt about poetry?
Peter: I did not realise that you harboured a dislike for Russians.
Peter: Do you have something against Russians?
Scampi: I love our Russki brethren. I was referring to the Soviet jerks.
Scampi: Sending poets off to the gulag for what? Being decadent and metaphysical. What do you think about that?
Peter: That is truly unfortunate.
Scampi: Unctuous words on troubled waters.
Scampi: I hope I’m not being too decadent and metaphysical for you, Herr Kommandant.
Peter: That is not Russian.
Scampi: What a linguist you are today. Boy oh boy.
Peter: [SNIFFS DELICATELY, LIKE A VICTORIAN LADY]
Scampi: Ho, ho.
Peter: What is the joke, pray tell?
Scampi: Oh, nothing.
Peter: Where did we go wrong?
A SPOON CLATTERS TO THE FLOOR.
Scampi: We you and me? Or we the human race?
Peter: Let’s start small. We us.
Scampi: E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle!
Peter: I do not know what that means.
Scampi: Do you know what Dante means?
Peter: You behave as though I mistake myself for a classical scholar.
Scampi: You behave as though you mistake yourself for a classical scholar.
Scampi: “And then we emerged to see the stars again.”
Scampi: To gaze upon the stars.
Peter: A noble pursuit, no doubt.
Scampi: You say that as though there were doubt involved.
Peter: This was unintentional.
Scampi: It’s all unintentional. That’s the problem.
Peter: This could be a problem.
Scampi: It certainly could.
Scampi: You have seen the stars before, I presume?
Peter: The stars?
Scampi: Viz., the constellations. Such as Andromeda.
Scampi: It is permitted to see the stars.
Scampi: Yes. The Andromeda Galaxy is very far away.
Peter: I believe it is also very far away in layman’s terms.
Scampi: What would you call a collision with the Milky Way? In layman’s terms.
Peter: Well. Although I am not an astronomer.
Scampi: You know who’s an astronomer?
Peter: A number of persons are astronomers.
Scampi: Says you. Abd el-Rahman al-Sufi. That’s who.
Peter: Are you trying to hint at something?
Peter: If you’ll excuse me, there seems to be a theme here.
Scampi: Themes, my friend, are one thing. Hinting, on the other hand, is not my strong suit.
Scampi: Humph. You know, I don’t picture you looking at the stars.
Peter: I can look at the stars as well as the next man.
Scampi: It’s got nothing to do with looking well.
Peter: Thank you for keeping me aware of your fascinating world view.
Scampi: A man could die and leave all his letters behind.
Peter: This is something that could happen.
Scampi: In the pockets of the populace. A man could die and have his letters burned in Vienna.
Peter: These are all possibilities.
Scampi: How do you feel about your correspondence being published in the paper?
Peter: [alarmed] Is my correspondence being published in the paper?
Peter: I see.
Scampi: I mean at some future date.
Peter: I have nothing to hide.
Scampi: Oh ho!
Scampi: The milky circles over our heads.
Scampi: If you like.
Scampi: Can you fly?
Peter: [sharply] Why would ask that?
Scampi: I dunno. Just curious.
Peter: I have no idea why you would imagine that I could fly.
Scampi: I was just asking. Pigeons can fly.
Peter: That has been determined.
Scampi: We’ve all been determined. Some time.
Peter: I suppose.
Scampi: But have we all been pigeons at some point?
Scampi: How can you be so sure?
Peter: We have not been pigeons.
Scampi: But we have been stars.