Peter: Today I feel old.


Scampi: How adolescent of you.


Peter: (Glowers.)


Scampi: Can I touch your stubble?


Peter: No!


Scampi: But I want to see what it’s made of.


Peter: It’s made of hair.


Scampi: Imagine having hair coming out of your face!


Scampi: Give us an example of what your voice sounds like.
Scampi: Come on.
Peter: Lamp-post.
Scampi: Perfect!
Peter: Chicken-wire.  Coconuts and Portuguese irrigation systems.  Balloons!  Toes!  Incandescent wire mausing spaceship tubes!  Waggling interfaces!
Scampi: How fantastic.  More!
Peter: I’m exhausted.
Scampi: I didn’t know you had it in you.
Peter: Well.
Scampi: You make a lot of rustling noises.  Did you know that?
Peter: Pardon me?
Scampi: That’s like, your primary noise.  Rustling.
Peter: I will not condescend to disprove such a theory.
Scampi: You are a rustler.  You should go into cattle.
Peter: (sighs)
Scampi: I award you seven points for the timbre of your excellent voice.  But I would give you ten more if you ran away from home and became a cowboy.
Peter: (clears his throat)
Scampi: You know what else?
Scampi: Hey!  Peter!  You know what else?
Peter: No.
Scampi: Ha!  I know.
Scampi: Well, anyway, some of your shirts are made of unusually soft materials.
Peter: Yes.
Scampi: So you can’t be all bad.
Peter: How gracious.
Scampi: You know what else?  Hey?
Peter: No, I do not know what else.
Scampi: Me neither.
Peter: Scampi –
Scampi: But I promise I’ll tell you some day.
Peter: Okay.
Scampi: Peter?
Peter: Yes?
Scampi: I’m tired.
Peter: I know.


pt 20: SCIENCE

Scampi: Are you equal to the sum of your three sides?




Peter: What’s the – that’s no kind of definition of a triangle.




Scampi: You think of yourself as a triangle?


Peter: A triangle has three sides.


Scampi: Hahahahahahaha.

pt 15: MAD, BAD, FLINT

Scampi: You, Peter, have never read anything by Gumilev. You are like a nightmare that takes place on Gladstone Avenue in a foreign language.


Peter: I am in the bath. I am taking no note of this invective.


Scampi: You are like a girl sitting outside a butcher shop in September wishing she wasn’t too mad to cry. Except the opposite.


Peter: Sometimes, you don’t make any sense at all. When this happens, I prefer to absent myself.


Scampi: You sellout piece of shit.


Peter: I’m not listening.


Scampi: Due to hearsay, I am aware that Gumilev also wrote a poem about a giraffe. You’ll never guess what it’s called.


Peter: I hate guessing.


Scampi: This is because you are a sore loser.




Scampi: People with inflated notions of themselves that do not appropriately correspond to materiel/other success are often sore losers. This is a fact.


Peter: Oh really?


Scampi: Yes. It is in the dictionary.


Peter: Which one?


Scampi: You have never seen a dictionary, and wouldn’t know anything about it.


Peter: I give up.


Scampi: Don’t think I mistake the flint in your voice for something [exhaustion/depression/general irritable nature] else. Everyone gives up on me.


Peter: It’s hard to imagine why.


Scampi: I believe that people give up on me due to your lack of imagination.




Scampi: Maybe you don’t absorb enough vitamin C.


Peter: Sometimes, I wish I had never met you.


Scampi: So what.


Peter: Stop mis-hearing me.


Scampi: I know what you meant.


Peter: I just pointed out that it’s past your normal bedtime. You’re tired.


Scampi: I hate you.


Peter: Don’t talk to me like that.


Scampi: I hate fighting with you.


Peter: You need to calm down.


Scampi: How come your eyes are every single colour?


Peter: They’re hazel.


Scampi: Freaky.


Peter: We should spend less time together.


Scampi: Someday, there will be no Peter, and no Scampi, and we won’t have a choice.


Scampi: Ok, Peter, let’s get some things straight.


Peter: My mouth is like, full of pizza.


Scampi: Why are you talking that way?


Peter: There is pizza sauce on each one of my fingers.


Scampi: Disgusting.


Peter: God, I feel good.


Scampi: You rococo thumbprint.


Peter: What?


Scampi: What’s up with your freshly minted tackiness incarnate?


Peter: Is this what passes for belligerence these days?


Scampi: You know what’s hilarious? Someone trying to say shit while his mouth is full of nasty old pizza.


Peter: It’s funny you should mention that.


Scampi: Oh yeah?


Peter: Yes.


Scampi: Why?


Peter: I think you know why.


Scampi: Maybe you don’t think at all.


Peter: I think that I am eating pizza instead of talking to you.


Scampi: I think you’re wearing suspenders.


Peter: Yes. You’re correct.


Scampi: You anachronism.




Scampi: It looks good on you.


Peter: Tomato?


Scampi: Another time.


Peter: Melted cheese?


Scampi: No, the trappings of the past.


Peter: Oh?


Scampi: They’ve trapped you, all right.


Peter: Hm.


Scampi: But that suits you.


Peter: I’m gonna get a cellphone and a girlfriend. Once I’ve got a cellphone and a girlfriend, I’ll never get off either.


Scampi: Yeah.


Peter: I will drive the word pedestrian right through your cerebral cortex with a darning needle. I’m gonna paint this town taupe with mediocrity.


Scampi: I bet you’ll miss the ocean when you’re gone.


Peter: What ocean?


Scampi: You thrive on that shit. You like missing the ocean sixty four percent more than you like swimming in it.


Peter: Whatever, Scampi.


Scampi: You’ll be licking the salt off your skin.


Peter: My skin is none of your business.


Scampi: And you’ll remember how it carried you.


Peter: Perhaps I will be using my newfound social capital to purchase a flotation device. This will likely carry me far more efficiently than the unpredictable saline depths.


Scampi: Yes, Peter.


Peter: I’m glad you see reason.


Scampi: I do.


Peter: Good.


Scampi: I see it floating away.


Peter: I often neglect to shave.


Scampi: We are a delicate race.




Peter: My eyes are changing colour.


Scampi: They always do that.


Peter: So, what’s the big problem with me eating pizza? I’m not allowed to feed myself?


Scampi: No.


Peter: Is that it?


Scampi: No, that’s not it.


Peter: Well?


Scampi: Well, nothing. I don’t even know how tall you are.


Peter: I am six feet tall.


Scampi: That’s what you say.


Peter: It is.


Scampi: Go to sleep, Peter.


Peter: I’m already sleeping.


Scampi: Is this a good time to talk about beauty?


Peter: What are you talking about?


Scampi: [glares]


Peter: Okay, okay. What do you mean?


Scampi: You know what I mean. Maybe you don’t.


Peter: Maybe I don’t.


Scampi: No.


Peter: Well. That’s settled, then!


Scampi: I don’t believe a word of it.


Peter: Do you think I’m lying?


Scampi: You’re a sucky liar, for a liar.


Peter: Don’t call me a liar!


Scampi: What was that, liar? I mean, uh, Mr Lying-Pants.


Peter: I object. I really do.


Scampi: Peter’s mad and I’m glad.


Peter: [is livid.]


Scampi: Have some more coffee. Here, I’ll pour it for you, all nice. And, I mean, you see that bird? At the top of the tree out the window? I don’t even know what kind of bird that is. See it? What is that?


Peter: We have already ascertained that none of us know what kind of bird that is.


Scampi: And all the leaves. What do you call that?


Peter: Foliage.


Scampi: But it’s spring, it’s springtime. I can feel it in the muscles of my arms. Aren’t you excited?


Peter: I am unamused.


Scampi: Liar! You’re totally amused!


Peter: [stony silence]


Scampi: Oh. Sorry. (Pause.) You know that wasn’t on purpose. Come on.


Peter: Well.


Scampi: I told you. I wanna talk about like, beauty. Like, mercy in the world. You know?


Peter: Que la vie est dur.


Scampi : You look nice today.


Peter: Thank you.


Scampi: I want to touch you and those green leaves at the same time.


Peter: There have always been leaves that are green. There have equally been leaves of other colours.


Scampi: Not to mention no leaves at all.


Peter: Yes.


Scampi: I like your plumage just fine, Peter. I think you are nicely plumed.


Peter: Hm. Ah.


Scampi: It’s the season. It’s the season to march out the door in your feathered best.


Peter: I don’t have a feathered vest.


Scampi: What? What’s wrong with you?


Peter: Excuse me?


Scampi: I said feathered best. BEST.


Peter: Oh.


Scampi: You and your eyelashes. Don’t get so cagey with how gorgeous things can be. Open up your eyes, baby. Drink up.


Peter: W—


Scampi: I’m talking about everything. I’m talking about how good everything looks, or at least some things, at least right now. I’m saying you should pay attention. I’m telling you to effing pay attention to this shit.


Peter: Sometimes, you are very noisy.


Scampi: Goddammit Peter.


Peter: Don’t swear at me.


Scampi: But you have such beautiful hands.




Scampi: No wonder you have no money.

pt 17: CANYONS

Scampi: Today I would like to speak about Natural History.


Peter: I can hardly contain my anticipation.


Scampi: Natural History is all about birds, fish, the tips of trees that you cannot see because you are on the ground, and the human heart, that maudlin manic fist.


Peter: It does not take a top-notch prepschool education to disprove such nonsense.


Scampi: Peter, why don’t you open up your ribcage and breathe in some possibilities? You are behaving like a sucking chest wound.


Peter: I often have difficulty with the imagery you employ.


Scampi: We are all eminently employable, at heart.


Peter: Can I mention something about science fiction classics here?


Scampi (graciously): Yes. Now, on to brighter climes. Existence, like being a waitress, is a dance. It is a waltz, it is a foxtrot. It is a moshpit, and a bathroom overdose on the side, and it is a prayer, a softshoe jazz routine and a humble request to not fall over, please. It is a pickup truck, for god’s sake. It’s all a dance. Give me your hand.


Peter: You may look at it, but you can’t keep it.


Scampi: Peter’s fingers are surprisingly slender. I have known men with longer, thinner fingers than this, but those fingers were attached to longer, thinner men.


Peter: Are you insinuating something about my appearance?


Scampi: I insinuate nothing. I am toxic with infatuation.


Peter: Oh?


Scampi: From the solar system right on down to the paint scraper in my pocket, I am idiotically infatuated with this world. You have no idea. It even hurts. It hurts like your stomach hurts when you’re laughing so hard you can’t breathe, but you still can’t stop. That’s how I feel about this world.


Peter: Hurt?


Scampi: Don’t mind if I do.


Scampi: What do you call it when the air snaps and cracks – is that electricity, or dust?


Peter: Uh.


Scampi: You know what I mean. Don’t you? You do. You know – when the air makes that sort of crackling noise, like static on a carpet.


Peter: When dust particles suspended in the air have sunlight passing through them they look kinda crackly. Or, um, fireflies? Is that what you mean?


Scampi: No.


Peter: I have only ever experienced what you’re describing subjectively, before a thunderstorm.


Scampi: Oh.



Scampi: Are you asleep?


Peter: No. Reading.


Scampi: I am watching the spectacles on your nose. They are sitting like, right at the end. And your hair on your forehead, like a young man.


Peter: What?


Scampi: When your hair is on your forehead like that, it makes you look more like a younger man, or maybe someone from a hundred years ago.


Peter: That would make me an older man.


Scampi: Shut up. That’s not what I meant.


Peter: Did you just tell me to shut up?


Scampi: No. Cross that out.


Peter: [Scampi: Shut up.]


Scampi: You know what’s really stupid? Feminist organisations that are stuck in some stupid thing like the second wave, or maybe the third. Wait, what wave are we on now?


Peter: Well—


Scampi: Like some dumb feminist organisation in 1997. I hate that shit.


Peter: Why did you decide you hate 1997 feminist organisations today?


Scampi: That’s not what I said. That was three weeks ago, in the morning. This is three weeks later, and it’s dark out.




Scampi: Do you want some potatoes? Or beets?


Peter: No.


Scampi: Because there are some.


Peter: Really?


Scampi: Yeah.


Peter: Are they delicious?


Scampi: Pretty much.




Scampi: Are you pregnant?


Peter: (stares at his stomach, and makes it pop out more) Yes. I’m carrying our love child.


Scampi: Because you’re glowing.


Peter: I’m glowing? I shaved today.


Scampi: No, that’s not it.






Peter: Your potatoes and beets are internationally renowned for their deliciousness.


Scampi: (blush).