pt 109: HEARTBEATS

Scampi: Did I tell you about the other time I fell in love?

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: What a thing to say.

Peter:

Scampi: Well, can you imagine?

Peter: Ho hum.

Scampi: So it’s like this.

Peter: Are you upset about something?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: That’s right.

SCAMPI YAWNS.  PETER YAWNS.

Scampi: I would like to talk about humanism.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Desiderius Erasmus.  Eh?  This means something to you?

Peter: I am familiar with the name.

Scampi: Ho ho.

Peter: I know who Erasmus is.

Scampi: Oh, I don’t doubt it.  Not for a second!

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I don’t know anything about him.  It’s all very tragical.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: These Reformation types and their crazy ways.  I want no part of it!

Peter: Has someone been inviting you to take part in the Reformation?

Scampi: Ridiculous.  Peter, you are simply nuts.

Peter: [offended]

Scampi: Well, there’s no need to take offence.

Peter: You have just accused me of being nuts.

Scampi: Impossible!  I simply want some tea.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Do you want some tea?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: Oh, please, do take your time.  I am a tea-making factory, here for your convenience.

PETER TURNS THE PAGE OF HIS MAGAZINE WITH PRECISION.

Scampi: You little Gatling gun, you.

Peter: Are you speaking to me?

Scampi: No.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You wouldn’t have guessed this about me.

Peter: Guessed what?

Scampi: Precisely!  No one would have guessed.

Peter: I am not fond of guessing.

Scampi: No, you aren’t.

PAUSE.

Scampi: It’s not impossible to imagine, however, that I would have spent four days of my life sleeping through the night, for example.

Peter: A contradiction in terms?

Scampi: Please do not be such an asshole, Peter.

PAUSE, IN WHICH PETER’S SEETHING CAN BE PRESUMED, IF NOT PROVEN.

Peter: Would you not say ‘proved’, rather?

Scampi: Mind your own business!  God.

Peter: Deus.

Scampi: Out of the machine!

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: It could have been four days.  It could have been six nights.

Peter: Of sleeping?

Scampi: Of perfection.

Peter: Ah, perfection.

Scampi: I don’t appreciate your sneering.

Peter: I?  Sneering?

Scampi: Your mouth is full of melted butter.

Peter: [with difficulty] It is not.

Scampi: If I had known, I would’ve made popcorn.  Anyway, we can make room in our lives for our humanist friends, of course.

Peter: Ah yes, our humanist friends.

Scampi: Not to mention our four-legged brethren.

Peter: Yes, such as cats.  Do cats like to eat catnip?

Scampi: No.  It causes them to vomit.

Peter: Really?

Scampi: Of course.

Peter: I am suspicious of this information.

Scampi: Well, that says plenty about you.  But nothing about catnip.

Peter: I –

Scampi: Your mastery of the first-person pronoun has been recorded.  Now, what was I saying?

Peter: It is impossible to determine.

Scampi: One day you might wake up in the morning to an appropriately-coloured sky.  There is a human creature sleeping next to you.

Peter: This is hardly controversial.

Scampi: Exactly.

Peter: You have a problem with the colour of the sky?

Scampi: I do not.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Another morning, you do not wake up at all.  You sleep until dusk.

Peter: [nervously] Oh, the lifestyle of the common layabed.

Scampi: Are you nervous about something?

Peter: [nervously] No.

Scampi: Because you seem nervous.

Peter: Stop interfering with my delivery.  I am entirely lacking in nerves.

Scampi: Have I hit a nerve?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: In either case, you are both of them, the happy early riser, and the lonely evening layabed.  Both of them at once.

Peter: Where is this going?

Scampi: Nowhere.  You get out of bed, you don’t get out of bed.  Doesn’t matter.

Peter: I see.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You know what happened to me yesterday?

Peter: You got out of bed and fell in love?

Scampi: No.  In the afternoon I heard the sound of birds and went outside.

Peter: A daring tangent.

Scampi: I looked up into the tree, it was all green leaves.  I could hear the birds everywhere, you know, like a chipmunk farm.

Peter: Ahem.  Our winged neighbours are sometimes rather loud.

Scampi: Yes.  But I couldn’t see them.

Peter: Because of the leaves?

Scampi: I don’t know.  I couldn’t see a single one.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: That’s what happened to me yesterday.

Peter: Did anything else happen?

Scampi: Not really, no.

pt 120: GAMBOL

Scampi: Let’s put out coats on.

Peter: Our coats?

Scampi: Yes.  We each get one.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Standard issue.

PAUSE.

Scampi: And our scarves.  Let’s go out into the world.

Peter: Perhaps later on.

Scampi: Later on?  What’s wrong with you?

Peter: That is a personal question.

Scampi: You wish.  You don’t want to go out into the world?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: What are you, scared?

Peter:  No.

Scampi: Oh, I see.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Nothing.  I guess you just – don’t want to go for a walk.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: For whatever reason.

Peter: That is correct.

Scampi: Do you want some more coffee?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: This is a good season to walk amidst the weather.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: To look up at the sky, for example.

Peter: This is always possible.

Scampi: That’s what you think.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: Yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: One never encounters you listening to motown music.  I’ve noticed.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: I’m just saying.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: I dunno.  The coffee is weak.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Sorry.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: We should dance.

Peter: [alarmed] Right now?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: But we should.  Sometime this year.

Peter: To what end?

Scampi: It’s the right thing to do.

Peter: I am unsure.

Scampi: I know.  I’ve been thinking about raccoons.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Not that much, though.

Peter: Well, thank you for keeping me informed.

Scampi: No problem.  I’m here for you, Peter.

PETER RUBS HIS EYES.

Scampi: Rubbler.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Yes, this coffee is weak.

Peter: Yes.  You spoke about this earlier.

Scampi: I know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you know what a lute is?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Hm.  It has to do with cats’ guts and love.

Peter: Of course!  What doesn’t?

Scampi: None of that: I’m just speaking about like, mid-century romantic-type ballads.  Minstrels and such.

Peter: Mid what century?

Scampi: An old one.  Say, sixteen.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Finger plucking.  Courtly love.

Peter: I suppose you no longer wish to go for a stroll?

Scampi: I never said that.

Peter: Said what?

Scampi: I didn’t say I didn’t want to go for a stroll.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you want to?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: It’s still daylight.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We could walk down by the river.

Peter: What river?

Scampi: I don’t know.  The Euphrates?

Peter: The Danube?

Scampi: Absolutely.  Lute-lee.

Peter: Pum-pum-pum-pa-pum-

Scampi: Pum-PA-pum-PA!  A waltz.

Peter: Where have I placed my necktie?

Scampi: Forget it.  This is an informal outing.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: It is a beautiful day.

Peter: Yes.  I feel an irrationally excessive surge of ill-will.

Scampi: Oh?

Peter: This is unavoidable, it would seem.

Scampi: Maybe I can help.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh, look!  A sparrow.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: Sh.  Stay still.

Peter: Umph?

THE SPARROW ALIGHTS ON PETER’S STANDARD ISSUE COAT.  THE LIGHT ADJUSTS.

Scampi: Ah.

Peter: Well, that was interesting.

Scampi: You made a friend.

Peter: I did?

Scampi: I think so.  Yes.