pt 127: BEFORE THE CITY FELL, WHEN WE LOVED ONE ANOTHER

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.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Do you have something against Russians?

Scampi: I love our Russki brethren.  I was referring to the Soviet jerks.

Peter: Who?

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.

Peter: Pardon?

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.

PAUSE.

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.

PAUSE.

Scampi: “And then we emerged to see the stars again.”

Peter: Oh?

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.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: You have seen the stars before, I presume?

Peter: The stars?

Scampi: Viz., the constellations.  Such as Andromeda.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: It is permitted to see the stars.

Peter: Lovely.

Scampi: Yes.  The Andromeda Galaxy is very far away.

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: Technically.

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?

Scampi: Preposterous.

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.

Peter: [LAUGHS].

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?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I mean at some future date.

Peter: I have nothing to hide.

Scampi: Oh ho!

PETER GLOWERS.

Scampi: The milky circles over our heads.

Peter: Haloes?

Scampi: If you like.

PAUSE.

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?

Peter: No.

Scampi: How can you be so sure?

Peter: We have not been pigeons.

Scampi: But we have been stars.

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