pt 55: JAYBIRDS

Scampi: Hello?

Peter: Are you awake?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: You are?

Scampi: Basically.

Peter: There are two enormous bluejays on my balcony.

Scampi: Oh yes.

Peter: They are the size of seagulls.

Scampi: Very nice.

Peter: They are very large.

Scampi: Do you think they might be us?

Peter: I’m referring to the feathered creatures.  Not the baseball team we play on.

Scampi: You’re funny.

Peter: You should see them.

Scampi: I can’t see them.

Peter: Well, maybe they’ll come back.

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pt 52: NICKEL

Scampi: It is deep down in the earth.  Like, in the mines, but they aren’t mines, just rock below us.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Seams of, I dunno, emotion and like, raw material.

Peter: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Scampi: That’s because I’m on an island in the middle of nowhere.  Or in the middle of Greenwich, if you’re going to get all longitudinal at me.

Peter: [SIGHS.]  Are you having a geographically-based episode or something?

Scampi: Episode?  Am I a teevee show?

Peter: You seem to be in a highly agitated state.

Scampi: What, like Arkansas?

Peter: Really.

Scampi: Ha ha.  Ho ho.

Peter: Come now.

Scampi:  Hey hey, ho ho, Peter wants my puns to go!

Peter: Jesus!

Scampi: Yes, Judas?

PAUSE.

Scampi: Oh.  Oops.  Uh.  Sorry?  Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: I’m only teasing.

Peter: To what end?

Scampi: I dunno.  I’m in a goofy mood.

Peter: You are giving me a migraine.

Scampi: Sorry.

Peter: Fine.

Scampi: I was thinking about all sorts of stuff.  I was thinking about precious metals and everything.

Peter: You had better go to bed.

Scampi: Aye, skip.  Full’n’bye.

Peter: Now.

Scampi: Oh, now?

Peter: Probably.

Scampi: I think you’re right.

pt 53: ENGLAND SWINGS

Scampi: I’ve been thinking about things.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Don’t get too excited, now.

Peter: I shall do my utmost to remain calm.

Scampi: Commendable.

Peter: Rather.

Scampi: Anyhow, I’ve been thinking.

Peter: The brain is a gift.

Scampi: Yes.  An evolutionary bouquet of surprises.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Cortex’s gold!  A big man on hippocampus!

Peter: Really.

Scampi: I saw you laughing at that.

Peter: Absolutely not.

Scampi: I saw you snickering into your handkerchief.

Peter: Now,

Scampi: Come on, Peter, don’t lie.

Peter: I am not a liar.

Scampi: Yes, yes.  And no one has accused you of being one.

Peter: You just –

Scampi: But back to the real revolution here, if you will.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: For starters, we have the beauty of the outdoors.

Peter: We do.

Scampi: We have the bare bones of trees, a huge sky.

Peter: Theoretically.

Scampi: I mean, obviously I’m not going to list off everything.  We could be here all day.

Peter: SHUDDERS.

Scampi: Well, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.  Or anything.

Peter: Maybe you should go into weather forecasting.

Scampi: What a thing to say.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Preposterous.

Peter: It was just a suggestion.

Scampi: I bite my lip, and then a perfect cloud appears overhead.  A perfect, fluffy slice of cumulus.  I brush my hair out of my eyes, and the wind plays a minuet on the shingles across the street.  And you want me to go into weather forecasting!  Really.

Peter: Am I to infer that you believe there is a causal relationship between your facial tics and the current weather systems?

Scampi: Do you believe in God, Peter?

Peter: Well, I need a bit more context to answer that question.

Scampi: Right.  Ridiculous.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: I am so in love with the sun today.  And you just sit here punching me in the face with frozen slabs of like, Adorno.

Peter: I resent these accusations.

Scampi: While I present these adumbrations.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Do you feel like dancing?

Peter: No.

Scampi: This is unsurprising.

Peter: Yes.  Well.

Scampi: I feel like stretching my legs.

Peter: How do you plan to do that?

Scampi: I just need to find a long pond.  To leap over, you see.

Peter: You might get your feet wet.

Scampi: Well.  One of us has to.

pt 49 ½: PAR CONTRE

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Good.  High five.

Peter: My god.  How did you manage to get that much dirt under your fingernails?

Scampi: Me?

Peter: They’re filthy.

Scampi: Yeah.

Peter: When did that happen?

Scampi: While you were reading the map.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I was looking for something.

Peter: What?

Scampi: I’m not sure.

Peter: Was it a recipe for mud pies?

Scampi: No, no.  Nothing like that.

Peter: I certainly hope you found it.

Scampi: I had a good time looking, anyway.

Peter: So it would seem.

Scampi: [LAUGHS.]

Peter: What’s so funny?

Scampi: I don’t know.  But it’s working.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: Hee hee.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You seem a little under the weather today.

Peter: Do I?

Scampi: You do.

Peter: Well, there you have it.

Scampi: I don’t like to see you so down, Grumplestiltskin.  We’re heading in the right direction, aren’t we?

Peter: Yes.  For those who wish to go to Mexico.

Scampi: That’s us.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter, that’s us.  Right?

Peter: So it would seem.

Scampi: Do you want some tea from my thermos?  It’s still really hot.

Peter: No, thank you.

Scampi: Are you sure?  Yummy delicious tea.

Peter: No.  I am sure I don’t want any tea.  It is your tea.  You should drink it.

Scampi: Okay.  Just let me know if you change your mind, okay?

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: It’s funny, when you say that, it’s almost like you’re saying, “Quiet!”.  I think that’s pretty funny.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Quite.

SCAMPI LAUGHS AT THIS UNTIL SUNSET, GIVE OR TAKE, AT WHICH TIME PETER DECIDES TO HAVE SOME TEA, AFTER ALL.

pt 57: ROOSTING

Scampi: See, Peter,

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Well, I’m just saying.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: Well.  So there are these pigeons roosting all over the place.  Everywhere.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I know you know this.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: You’ve seen a pigeon or two, in your time.

Peter: They are members of a moderately ubiquitous species.

Scampi: Yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Moving on in this vein.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: If you will.

Peter: I may.

Scampi: The city is full of brick buildings.  They are red-brick.  Or yellow.  Actually, there are a number of possibilities.

Peter: I do not dispute this.

Scampi: No, well.  I mean, you wouldn’t, would you?

Peter: I didn’t, which is rather more the material point.

Scampi: The material in question is in fact brick.  Whatever colour it might be.  The colour is immaterial.

Peter: You had something to say about pigeons.

Scampi: And I said it.  It led to bricks, basically.

Peter: Pigeons lead to bricks?

Scampi: Effectively.

Peter: That’s absurd.

Scampi: It isn’t.

PETER SIGHS.

Scampi: Look, if you see a whole bunch of pigeons.  Taking it easy I mean.

Peter: If I did.

Scampi: Where are they?

Peter: Are we expecting someone?

Scampi: What?

Peter: Where are who?

Scampi: The pigeons.

Peter: What pigeons?

Scampi: The hypothetical theoretical pigeons.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Peter!  The pigeons I was talking about.

PETER STARES LIKE A CABBAGE ON A BARROW AT THE COUNTY FAIR.

Scampi: I said, If you were to see all these pigeons.  Like, just say you did.

Peter: If they were gathered en masse.

Scampi: Which, you’ll admit, is not such a rarity.

Peter: You speak the truth.

Scampi: Well, where might they be sitting?

Peter: In the eaves.  On the roof.

Scampi: Quite right.

PETER SHRUGS.

Scampi: Of a brick building!  That’s what I’m saying.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: That it’s not such a stretch as you made out.  Pigeons to brick.  So,

PAUSE.

Scampi: What are you doing with that measuring tape?

Peter: Ensuring our continued felicity.

Scampi: Are you distancing yourself from me?

Peter: I’m just checking up on the numbers, my friend.

Scampi: My friend!  Funny guy.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: I just think how you talk is funny sometimes.  In a good way.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Is that okay with you?

Peter: I suppose it is.

Scampi: That’s the best supposition you’ve made all day.

Peter: Humph.

Scampi: You should have it framed.  Bronzed, even.

Peter: Are you quite alright?

Scampi: I dunno.  Why do you ask?

Peter: Far be it from me to pry.

Scampi: [Snickers.]

Peter: Ahem.  But you don’t seem exactly yourself today.

Scampi: I suppose that’s true.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Yes.  I feel more like a reasonable facsimile.

Peter: Why’s that?

Scampi: I don’t know.  Or maybe I do.

Peter: I think that correctly identifies the two possibilities.

Scampi: Thankyou.

Peter: Can I get you something?

Scampi: Naw.  Maybe.

Peter: A coffee, perhaps?

Scampi: Um yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Thanks, Peter.

Peter: My pleasure.

Scampi: Yes.  I think I’m trying to situate myself.  You know?  The pigeons, the brick.  I mean, I haven’t talked about the weather.

Peter: You have not.

Scampi: Are we in a snowglobe?  Are we galloping across the plains?

Peter: What questions.

Scampi: In my left hand is the entire sky.  Including the ground it’s touching.

Peter: It looks rather like a coffee mug.

Scampi: No, no.  Listen Peter.

Peter: Don’t burn yourself.

Scampi: In my right hand, I’ve got the weather, the time of day.  That stuff.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: I am juggling my own hands.  I am flapping them at a birdcage full of nouns.

Peter: I don’t follow you.

Scampi: No, you don’t.

Peter: Hm.  At least that’s settled.

Scampi: I just thought it would be nice to talk about some stable items.  Otherwise the extrapolation might vanquish me.  On a day like today I mean.  Surely you can see this.

Peter: You look peakish.

Scampi: I’m afraid to look down.

pt 49: A WORKING MAN’S HANDS

Scampi: See those flowers?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: They remind me of you.

Peter: I don’t know why.

Scampi: I do.  They’re just like you.

Peter: They are not.

Scampi: They are.  Look at them.

Peter: I am looking at them.  This is how I can surmise that we are nothing alike.

Scampi: Those tulips remind me exactly of you.

Peter: I don’t understand this.

Scampi: Well, they do.

PAUSE.

Scampi: For starters, you’re both sort of delicate.  And stemmed.

Peter: Stemmed?

Scampi: Uh, yes.  Yup.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: Although, to be fair, you don’t have a brilliant stripe of scarlet for a throat.  Do you?

Peter: That’s private.

Scampi: Well, the tulips are two-tone.  You, on the other hand, are a monochrome gentleman.  I mean, am I wrong here?

Peter: I’m lost.

Scampi: While the tulips are grounded.  They are rooted in the earth.

Peter: Sometimes I’m rooted in the earth.

Scampi: I know.  I’ve seen it.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I notice you don’t get calluses from reading books.

Peter: Me?

Scampi: Or anyone, really.

Peter: That’s true.  Theoretically, someone could have a callus.  Depending on how they held the book.

Scampi: Or how silly they were.

Peter: What?

Scampi: You like to read a book or two.

Peter: I don’t deny this.

Scampi: But this doesn’t give you, say, back pain for example.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Or you don’t lose all the cartilage in one of your knees.

Peter: It is true that there is cartilage in both my knees.

Scampi: Right.  Your patellae are as ripe as oats.

Peter: What?

Scampi: You don’t have pains in your knees.

Peter: No, I don’t.  Should I?

Scampi: Not at all.  You’re beautiful as is.

Peter: Oh.  Ah.

Scampi: You and those tulips.

pt 55: JAYBIRDS

Scampi: Hello?

Peter: Are you awake?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: You are?

Scampi: Basically.

Peter: There are two enormous bluejays on my balcony.

Scampi: Oh yes.

Peter: They are the size of seagulls.

Scampi: Very nice.

Peter: They are very large.

Scampi: Do you think they might be us?

Peter: I’m referring to the feathered creatures.  Not the baseball team we play on.

Scampi: You’re funny.

Peter: You should see them.

Scampi: I can’t see them.

Peter: Well, maybe they’ll come back.

pt 51: TANTI BACCI, TANT PIS

Scampi: Hello?

Peter: I am having a nap.

Scampi: Oh.

Peter: Humph.

Scampi: Don’t you think it’s time to wake up?

Peter: Why would you ask me such a question?

Scampi: It’s like, rhetorical.  It means Get up.

Peter: I am snoozing.

Scampi: You’ve been snoozing for about three weeks.

Peter: I have not.

Scampi: It makes me feel like I’m gonna die here.

Peter: This is hardly appropriate.

Scampi: I do not feel the cultural imperative to appropriate.

Peter: Oh, really?

Scampi: I feel the cultural imperative to keep moving.  For example.

Peter: [YAWNS.]

Scampi: I had big plans.

Peter: Yes, yes.  We all had big plans.

Scampi: Oh.

pt 50: WHAT THE FUTURE TEACHES

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: I feel funny today.

Peter: Ah.  Funny peculiar?

Scampi: I think so.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I feel weird.

Peter: You are pretty odd.

Scampi: Weirder than normal.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Ominous.  That’s how I feel.

Peter: Well.  What do you think has caused this?  Too much auguring?

Scampi: Har har.  Why don’t you go find some bird guts of your own?  Then you can tell me.

Peter: I don’t kill things.

Scampi: Right.  Just implicitly.  You are subtlety incarnate.  Or what do they call it?  Passing the buck?

Peter: Are you delirious?

Scampi: I think I might be.

Peter: If you’re messing around, it isn’t very funny.

Scampi: I know.  It’s been real sunny today.

Peter: That doesn’t bother me.

Scampi: I know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I feel, I dunno, it’s like, right on the edge between good and bad.

Peter: Mediocre?

Scampi: No, no.  The opposite.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Like, it could go bottomless pit, or grooming stablesful of angels.

Peter: You feel extreme.

Scampi: I’ll say.

Peter: Well, that’s hardly unusual.

Scampi: I know.  I know.

Peter: You often behave in rather extreme fashions.

Scampi: Yeah, but I don’t feel extreme.  Usually.

Peter: I wouldn’t know.

Scampi: No.  Are we going the right way?   Are we even doing the right thing?

Peter: I don’t know.  What do you mean?

Scampi: Dan would know.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I feel like Dan would know.

Peter: If we’re headed in the right direction?

Scampi: Yeah.

Peter: I have felt that way before.

Scampi: I think Dan has that effect.  Sometimes.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: The sky is phenomenal today.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: It just seems like more of a phenomenon than usual.  You know?

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Like, what the hell is holding that shit up?

Peter: Atlas?

Scampi: Humph.

Peter: Don’t ask a classical question unless you want a classical answer.  I always say.

Scampi: I’ve never heard you say that once in my life.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: Well, I’ve never heard you say that more than once.  And never before today.

Peter:  Perhaps.

Scampi: Anyway, how did you know I didn’t mean, What’s holding that shit up, like, What’s taking it so long?

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi:  It’s an idiom thing.  Okay?

Peter: You do look a little flushed.

Scampi: I do?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Hum.

PETER FIRES OFF A SIDELONG GLANCE, WITH AN UNUSUAL LEVEL OF EFFICIENCY.

Scampi: The sky is entirely a mystery.  Today.  And on an assortment of other days.  Here and there.  Over time.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Do you know what I mean?

Peter: Probably not.

Scampi: Can you tell me about the Fibonacci sequence?

Peter: Possibly.  What do you wish to know about it?

Scampi: I don’t know.  It makes me uncomfortable.

Peter: Well, maybe that’s the problem.

Scampi: Maybe.

Peter: How could the Fibonacci sequence make you uncomfortable?

Scampi: It gets me all queasy.  I try to focus on the horizon and then my legs give way.

Peter: It happens.

Scampi: I know it does.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I mean, look at us, riding off into the sunset.  Meanwhile, I feel like I don’t even know the first thing about like, biology.  Ribosomes, cytoplasm, et cetera.  Mitochondria.  What are those guys even doing?  Chlorophyll.  The colour of light refracted.  Do you even know what colour that is?

Peter: This is certainly a unique take on science.

Scampi: Well, thanks.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: I don’t know how to say what I am trying to say.

Peter: That much is clear.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: Rather.

Scampi:  Oh.  That’s a relief I guess.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I’m glad you came with me.

Peter: Where?

Scampi: Here.

Peter: Ok.

Scampi: I like to have a partner in crime.

Peter: Crime is often inappropriate.

Scampi: So is duplicity.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I like to think that it could be us.

Peter:  It what?

Scampi: The sky.  I like to think that perhaps that’s why the sky is still standing upright way over that ridge.

Peter: Why’s that?

Scampi: Because we’re chasing it.

Peter: Ah.  So the sky is expecting us?

Scampi: Naturally.  Let’s not be late.

pt 58: PANACEA

Scampi: Peter?  Peter!

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Jeez.  Louise.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Oh nothing.

Peter: What?  What was that?

Scampi: I’ll wait ‘til it’s done.

Peter: Sorry?

Scampi: [WAITS.]

Peter: Ah, that’s better.

Scampi: Well, yes and no.

Peter: Only I couldn’t hear you, you see.

Scampi: I see.

Peter: Above all that cello.

Scampi: It was a sight to be seen.

Peter: Pum pum.  Pum-pa-pum.

Scampi: Yes yes.  The virtuosity cannot be denied.

Peter: I have no wish to deny it.

Scampi: Nor do I.  I embrace the virtuosity of your cellist.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: A four-string miracle.  Angels in the snowbanks.  Et cetera.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I’m all nerves.

Peter: I won’t offer to make a fresh pot, then?

Scampi: Oh won’t you?

Peter: What?

Scampi: Nothing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Nothing!

Peter: Have you quite taken leave of your senses?

Scampi: Yeah, yeah.

Peter: Inside voices.

Scampi: Are concealed their venomous intent.

Peter: Pardon me?

PAUSE.

Peter: Uh, it seems to me—

Scampi: Don’t start.

Peter: Could I finish?

Scampi: Look, I’ll be better.

Peter: Would you like to stretch your legs?

Scampi: I’ve never heard you say that before.

Peter: I’m trying new things.

Scampi: I see.  So you want to go for a stroll?

Peter: Well, it’s a possibility.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: One of myriad possibilities, really.

Scampi: There are an astounding number of options.

Peter: There are.

Scampi: I suppose it would be hackneyed to discuss paralysis at this juncture.

Peter: Rather.

BIRDS PERFORM EXOTIC DANCES ON THE PORCH, BY THE WINDOW.

Scampi: Are they like, cold?  Do you think?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: You know, the birds.

Peter: Noooo.  I don’t think so.

Scampi: Oh.  Okay.

Peter: Anthropomorphising our animal friends is rarely a wise idea.

Scampi: I already knew that.

Peter: Good.

Scampi: You should get a birdbath.

Peter: I will consider it.

Scampi: In this same vein, if you will,

Peter: Oh really?

Scampi: Do you accept the like, premise, that under the snow the earth and all it’s earth-type stuff is sleeping?

Peter: Is that really a premise?

Scampi: It’s like one, anyway.  Is the earth asleep?

Peter: Figuratively?

Scampi: However you like.

Peter: Well, I wouldn’t put it that way.

Scampi: No.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Would you say that I am asleep?  Underneath the snow?

Peter: When?

Scampi: Now!  Now, Peter.

Peter: I would say that you are not.  I would say that you are neither.

Scampi: Figuratively?

Peter: You are pecking at my literal bones.

Scampi: Your painter’s loose.  You’re adrift in the damp seas.

Peter: An act of vandalism I do not appreciate.

Scampi: Surely I can see this.  Surely I should return this conversation to dry land.  Where you have cell phone reception.  Where dust gathers on your eyeglasses.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: You want to talk about sports teams?

Peter: Never.

Scampi: I know.  Thus we are stuck with the metaphorical balletdance.

Peter: I refuse to accept your axiom.

Scampi: [Curtsies.]

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Shall we?

Peter: Shall we what?

Scampi: Waltz.

Peter: I will do no such thing.

Scampi: Too late.

Peter: [Drowned out by cello.]