pt 54: A PAIR OF SHOES AND RAIN

Scampi: Peter, what do you have to say about love?

 

Peter: Pardon me?

 

Scampi: Oh, cross that out.

 

Peter: LOVE.

 

Scampi: Or, you know what, just leave it.

 

Peter: Make up your mind.

 

Scampi: Well, I’m trying.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Don’t make those dubious noises at me.  Or, at any rate, what do you think about fishing trips?

 

Peter: What fishing trips?

 

Scampi: You know, like the ones you take with your dad.

 

Peter: I don’t take any fishing trips with my dad.

 

Scampi: Obviously.  But if you did.

 

Peter: I don’t.

 

Scampi: I know.  But some people do that kind of thing.

 

Peter: I don’t know anything about it.

 

Scampi: Yes you do.

 

Peter: Noo.

 

Scampi: It’s common knowledge, everyone knows that.

 

Peter: Everyone who?

 

Scampi: Stop being so preposterous.  I know you know.  (aside) Peter knows.  He does.

 

Peter: Who are you talking to?

 

Scampi: To whom.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Pardon?

 

Peter: SIGHS.

 

Scampi: So, you don’t want to talk about male bonding excursions.  That’s fine.  That leaves us with a) the weather and / or b) our foundering humanity.

 

Peter: Jesus Christ.

 

Scampi: Oh, right.  That’s c) religion.

 

Peter: It’s raining.

 

Scampi: I don’t believe you.

 

Peter: It is currently raining.

 

Scampi: What, right now?

 

Peter: Yes.  Currently.

 

Scampi: What a know-it-all you are.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: You know what that is?

 

Peter: A pair of shoes.

 

Scampi: No, no.

 

Peter: It appears to be a pair of shoes.

 

Scampi: No, the rain.

 

Peter: Ah, so you’ve acknowledged it’s raining.

 

Scampi: Pathetic fallacy.  That’s what it is.

 

Peter: I prefer to think of it as precipitation.

 

Scampi: How precipitous!

 

Peter: Or condensation.

 

Scampi: How condescending!

 

Peter: Is this going to be all about your inability to accept science?

 

Scampi: Don’t tell fibs, Peter.  Fibbing forms no portion of the scientific method.

 

Peter: For the last time, stop calling me a liar.

 

Scampi: At the risk of unduly upsetting you, may I point out that this is very likely not the last time you will make that statement?

 

Peter: TAKES COMFORT IN HIS HAIRCUT.

 

Scampi: Your arms are all akimbo.  Maybe you should have a bath.

 

Peter: Yes.  Maybe.

 

Scampi: In any event, maybe we should focus on finding an umbrella.

 

Peter: Figuratively?

 

Scampi: If you like.

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pt 59: SEMPER SEMPER (nostalgie)

Scampi: At arm’s length.

Peter: What are you doing?

Scampi: Thinking.

Peter: Out loud.

Scampi: In part.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I was thinking about fish tanks, you know, aquariums.  And about skating.

Peter: I wonder if I should cut my hair.

Scampi: (Funny you should mention that.)  And about the passage of time.

Peter: [STARES AT HIS OWN REFLECTION, PENSIVELY.]

Scampi: Your hair grows.  The seasons come and go.

Peter: Quite right.

Scampi: You cut your hair.  The summer comes.

Peter: I hope you’re not implying a causal relationship between those two events.

Scampi: I’m not.

Peter: Good.

Scampi: But I’m not not either.

Peter: I have no idea what that means.

Scampi: Oh Peter.  Humph.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Are you in a competition for Vainest Man of the Year?  Or something?

Peter: I am not vain.

Scampi: Then why do you keep staring at yourself?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: What are you doing then?  Polishing the mirror?

Peter: I decline to comment.

Scampi: A damning indictment if I ever heard one.

Peter: One has doubts.

Scampi: You betcha, Thomas.

Peter: My name is not Thomas.

Scampi: Oh, right.  Sorry, Narcissus.

STONY SILENCE.

Scampi: When you massage your temple in that ferocious manner, it makes you look like someone with a headache.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: What a rare and tender coincidence.

Peter: [CLEARS HIS THROAT.]

Scampi: You know, one thing I was thinking was more about a more kind of general thing.  Being in the world, the skating rinks.  Fires in the oil drums.

Peter: One wonders where you acquire such imagery.

Scampi: It’s true.  You don’t think it’s true but it is.

Peter: What is truth?

Scampi: O Peterocrates!  Whither go the tiny flapping sparrows of our immortal souls?

Peter: aUrm.

Scampi: I have no idea about that sort of noise.

Peter: Excuse me.

Scampi: I was thinking about tin cans clanging.  Terrariums and turtle tanks.

Peter: You sure were a busy little thinker today.

Scampi: Ain’t little.

Peter: Forgive me.  Compact.

Scampi: Yes, it’s been pretty hopping at the thinktank today.

Peter: This much is clear.

Scampi: What’s the first thing you remember?

Peter: About what?

Scampi: I’m not sure.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Sometimes, I can’t remember the first thing.  About anything.  Har har.  How about today?

Peter: How about it?

Scampi: Do you remember it?

Peter: As though it were yesterday.

Scampi:  Oh yeah.  High-larious.

PETER IS UNACCOUNTABLY PLEASED WITH HIMSELF.

Scampi: The streetlamps are coming on.

Peter: They are.

Scampi: Can I touch your face?

HARD PAUSE.

Scampi: Or your arm?

Peter: No.  Why?

Scampi: I just want to check.

Peter: Check what?

Scampi: To make sure.

Peter: That you’re not experiencing sensory dissonance?

Scampi: If that’s how you want to see it.

Peter: I don’t want to see it.

Scampi: There are seven buttons on your shirt.

Peter: I believe it.

Scampi: You don’t have to believe it.  Count ‘em.

Peter: Perhaps at a later juncture.

Scampi: Have it your way.  The streetlamps are coming on.

Peter: As you so keenly previously observed.

Scampi: I did.  And in the lamplight we are two fluttering bits of gauze.  With seven buttons.  And the earth’s gravitational pull.

Peter: It does tend to be present.

Scampi: Very dependable.  Old gravitas.

Peter: I’m not old.

Scampi: Yet.

pt 56: BUILDINGS

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: That is my name.  How may I help you?

Scampi: Oh, I don’t know.  I’m just wondering some stuff.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m looking at this stunning view.

Peter: Are you?

Scampi: Well, I was two days ago.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: I was looking at this stunning view.  A crane in a construction pit.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: It was more than okay, boy.

Peter: If you say so.

Scampi: I do say so.  Don’t pretend you didn’t see the cumulus.  I know you did.  I have proof.

Peter: You’re right.  I saw the cumulus.

Scampi: I know you did.  Was that not the most beautiful thing?

Peter: It was very nice.

Scampi: It was freaking massive, my friend.

Peter: The clouds were large.

Scampi: The sky was the colour of a kindergartner’s coral necklace.  Come on, Peter.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Don’t what me.

Peter: Here.

Scampi: Oh, excellent.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Thanks for the coffee.

Peter: The pleasure is all mine.

Scampi: Okay.  So, to sum up, I was looking at the sky.

Peter: I have been getting that impression.

Scampi: It impressed itself upon me.

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: I will maybe remember that sky for the rest of my life.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: What do you mean, perhaps?

Peter: It might blend itself in with other skies.  Possibly.

Scampi: Jesus.

PETER GENUFLECTS.

Scampi: Hee hee.

Peter: I did not genuflect.

Scampi: Sure, sure.

Peter: I don’t even know how.

Scampi: You heathen.

PAUSE.

Scampi: That sky was beautiful, and I’m in no mood to let it go.

Peter: You may have to, some day.

Scampi: I want it, though.  I want it forever.

Peter: There will be other skies.

Scampi: But only one forever.

pt 60: BEASTS

Scampi: Well, Peter.

 

Peter: Well.

 

Scampi: It seems to me.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Or, to look at it another way.

 

Peter: Hm?

 

Scampi: I’m just trying to appreciate all angles here.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: However.

 

Peter: Indeed.

 

Scampi: I wasn’t finished.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: Have you ever gone to Australia?

 

Peter: I have not.

 

Scampi: Oh. I knew that, actually.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: How do you imagine it to be?

 

Peter: I don’t, really. I don’t think about Australia that much.

 

Scampi: And why would you?

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: But really the question is, why wouldn’t you? Eh?

 

Peter: Because it is not in my brain. There is no need.

 

Scampi: Maybe you need to learn a little more about your neighbours. Did you ever think of that?

 

Peter: What neighbours?

 

Scampi: On this earth. Your fellow men. Your humanoid compatriots.

 

Peter: Humanoid? Do you mean human?

 

Scampi: Don’t patronise me, mister. I know what I mean.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: And I’m not the only one. You know what I mean, too.

 

Peter: Oh really.

 

Scampi: Yes. Anyway, if we need to learn about Australia, we can jolly well learn about Australia.

 

Peter: If.

 

Scampi: That’s right. Besides, I bet you know a lot more about Australia than you let on.

 

Peter: How much are you betting?

 

Scampi: It’s an expression. It means, I am correct.

 

Peter: Hm.

 

Scampi: For example, in Australia, everyone walks around upside down. Did you know that?

 

Peter: Please.

 

Scampi: What? What?

 

Peter: Refrain from this prattle.

 

Scampi: Prattle? Pardon me?

 

Peter: You just said that in Australia people are walking around upside down.

 

Scampi: Perhaps I did. Perhaps they are.

 

Peter: SIGHS.

 

Scampi: The world is rife with strange beasts.

 

Peter: PICKS AT HIS TEETH.

 

Scampi: And perhaps we are the strangest beasts of all. Some of us anyway.

 

Peter: Are you talking about me?

 

Scampi: No. I am talking to you.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Fungi floppily cushion the forest floor. Behind the trees, brown bears dip their magnificent paws in wild honey.

 

Peter: Is this a children’s tale?

 

Scampi: Is that what you think? Bears and mushrooms belong in fairytales?

 

Peter: Perhaps.

 

Scampi: Well, I think they belong in the world. We are all in the world.

 

Peter: Is this what passes for philosophy these days?

 

Scampi: Don’t start with me. Philosophy is welcome to take a long walk off a short pier.

 

PETER REMOVES HIS EYEGLASSES AND RUBS HIS EYES WITH ONE PALE, CRUMPLED PAW.

 

Scampi: I am sure you have no wish to deny the existence of bears, mulching leaves, mushrooms, and Australia.

 

Peter: The existence of them?

 

Scampi: That’s right. You do not deny it. Do you?

 

Peter: Uh. No.

 

Scampi: Precisely! That’s what I’m saying. We’re all in this together.

 

Peter: Well, now—

 

Scampi: Don’t well now me. We are all crunching and whispering across the forest floor. Going from here to there. Looking for a soft place to sleep.

 

Peter: Well yes.

 

Scampi: Of course. There could be a blanket of snow, there could be a blanket of leaves, there could be a blanket of fine alpaca fur.

 

Peter: One has to have dreams, I suppose.

 

Scampi: What?

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What was that?

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: Dreams? Are you talking about dreams?

 

Peter: It was a just a.

 

Scampi: Do you have dreams? Is this what you’re saying?

 

Peter: I wasn’t really. Saying anything.

 

Scampi: Dreams. The finely silted dreams of Peter.

 

Peter: Silted? What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: I don’t know.

 

PAUSE.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I don’t know.