pt 96.6: SHORTHAND

Scampi: My head is filled with cages.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Bars of light and darkness.

Peter: Are you speaking figuratively?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi:

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pt 92: THE CRANES ARE DIGGING

Scampi: [STRETCHES EXPANSIVELY]

Peter: Hey now.

Scampi: What?

Peter: You might do well to manage your limbs a little more comprehensively.

Scampi: Yes, yes.

Peter: What time is it?

Scampi: I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Do you feel a chill?

Peter: A chill?

Scampi: That’s what I said.  In the air.

Peter: Hm.  Not really.

Scampi: Not really?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I’m going to make some coffee.

Peter: Are you chilly?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m fine.

Peter: I am going to take a walk.

Scampi: You are?

Peter: I am.

Scampi: Right now?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: There’s no need to sound so – put-upon.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Like it’s such a big hassle for you.  Talking to me.

Peter: Well, if you’re going to say things like that.

Scampi: I wouldn’t say things like that if you didn’t go around sounding so put-upon.

Peter: I am unfamiliar with this expression.

Scampi: Lies!

Peter: I am going to step outside.

Scampi: We are outside.

Peter: We are not.

Scampi: We are!

Peter: This argument is tedious.

Scampi: How could you?

Peter: I shall absent myself.

Scampi: Stop saying that.

PETER STEPS OUTSIDE.

Scampi: We ARE outside!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Oh me.

Peter: Is something the matter?

Scampi: I thought you left.

Peter: Momentarily, perhaps.

Scampi: Why would you do that?

Peter: I think you take certain things too seriously.

Scampi: Not true.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Really?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I am slightly excitable.

Peter: Rather.

Scampi: Today.

Peter: What’s up?

Scampi: Don’t patsy me.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: I can see what you’re doing.  Trying to coddle me with the vernacular.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Are you laughing at me?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Oh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I get the feeling it’s autumn.  Do you know what I mean?

Peter: It is not.

Scampi: I know.

pt 87: THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER

Scampi: Teeter eeter.

Peter: What are you doing?

Scampi: Teader toader.

Peter: Gibberish.

Scampi: Basically.

THE RAIN OF THE AGES.

Scampi: This keeps happening.

Peter: What does?

Scampi: It keeps happening to me.

Peter: The weather?

Scampi: No, no.

Peter: Are you all right?

Scampi: Does it matter?

Peter: Don’t be a child.

Scampi: I wasn’t aware there was an option.

Peter: I have rolled up my trouser cuffs.

Scampi: Good for you.

Peter: This will prevent them from absorbing moisture.

Scampi: The inclement elements.

Peter: The very ones.

Scampi: I am here.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: I am here I am here I am here.  You are, too.

Peter: If you say so.

Scampi: What did you say?

Peter: Just now?

Scampi: Did you just say that?

Peter: Say what?

Scampi: Jesus H.

Peter: What does the ‘h’ stand for?

Scampi: Helvetica.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: [sighs]

Peter: What?

Scampi: I was just sighing.  To myself.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Not that it matters.

PETER SAMPLES A FINGERTIP.

Scampi: Why are you grimacing?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Wow.  Look.

Peter: A lake.

Scampi: Looks like a lake.

Peter: Let’s take a look.

Scampi: Stop talking like that.

Peter: Pish posh.

Scampi: It is a lake.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: A body of water, anyway.

Peter: Could be a loch.

Scampi: Could be a tarn.

Peter: Tarnation!

Scampi: That wasn’t funny.

Peter: What are you laughing about then?

Scampi: Well yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: A body of water, anyway.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We could dip our toes.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: It would be refreshing.  We could use a little refreshment.

Peter: Rather.

Scampi: What do you think?

Peter: I am troubled.

Scampi: No, you aren’t.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: You know what he said?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: That’s what I’m saying.  Anyway, he said we must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Can you imagine?  What a thing to say.

Peter: We must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Scampi: Yes.  Can you do that?

Peter: Imagine things?

Scampi: Sure.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Oh, well.  That’s conclusive.

Peter: Why must we do this?

Scampi: I don’t need to tell you.

Peter: Illuminating.

Scampi: I don’t.  Can you do it?

Peter: I have not yet tried.

Scampi: Oh, for crying out loud.

Peter: Calm yourself.

Scampi: You calm yourself.

Peter [philosophically]: I do.

Scampi: Lies.

Peter: Don’t start.

Scampi: We are always starting.  Always coming up new.

Peter: I don’t know what you mean by this.

Scampi: Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I am here.  I mean, look at my skin.

Peter: A beautiful sheath.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I thought we were talking about skin.

Scampi: We were, we weren’t.  No difference.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I am here, right?  So what?  So are you.  You are here!

Peter: If you say so.

Scampi: Oh no.

pt 88: CRITTERS

Scampi: Do I look worried to you?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: This is my favourite time of year.

Scampi: Yeah, right.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: I know.

Peter: Then why?  Actually, forget it.

Scampi: ‘Tis forgotten.

Peter: I’m glad you’re not fiddling around with that compass.

Scampi: Oh really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Why?

Peter: I found it tiresome.

Scampi: Hoity toity.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: “This is my favourite time of year.”  “I hate your compass.”

Peter: You’re being rude.

Scampi: Oh, that’s rich.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: Whatever.

Peter: Are you tired?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Maybe you need to take a nap.

Scampi: You can’t tell me what to do.

Peter: Not to push the idiomatic envelope here,

Scampi: I’ll push your envelope.

Peter: Goodness.

Scampi: Also, badness.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Is this a lecture on moral philosophy?

Peter: Why do you ask?

Scampi: Because if it is, I’m leaving.

Peter: Well, that is your choice.

PAUSE.

Peter: Why are you looking at me like that?

Scampi: I’m not actually leaving.  Peter.

Peter: Oh.  I see.

Scampi: I wonder if you do.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: I really do.  I wonder all the time.

Peter: You are certainly full of questions.

Scampi: What’s that supposed to mean?

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Oh.  Right.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you –

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: I mean.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I mean, have you ever do you?

PAUSE.

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: This is very frustrating.

Scampi: What?  What is?

Peter: The way you are speaking.

Scampi: I’m just trying.  To say.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Bravery.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Well?

Peter: I am loathe to make this request in light of how unlikely it is that you will honour it.  However: please explain yourself.

Scampi: I am, I am.  I just want to know what you think about bravery.

Peter: As a quality?

Scampi: No, as a book title.

Peter: I suppose this could be a book by Tom Clancy.

Scampi: Peter.  I mean, are we brave?

Peter: We?

Scampi: Are you?

Peter: I don’t know.

Scampi: Like, are you scared?

Peter: Right now?

Scampi: Sure.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: There’s no need to sound so surprised.

Scampi: How else am I supposed to register my surprise?  Eh?

PAUSE.

Scampi: So you aren’t scared.  You’re like, ready.

Peter: For what?

Scampi: The eventualities.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Of like, existence.  Or whatever.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: I’m not worried.  You said.

Peter: I did?

Scampi: Basically.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Are we brave, Peter?

Peter: I don’t know.  I don’t understand the question.

Scampi: I want to be.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: But I don’t know how.

pt 90: WHAT THE STARS LOOK LIKE

Scampi: Takin’ it easy on a Sunday!

Peter: It isn’t Sunday.

Scampi: Who cares?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Why?  It doesn’t matter.

Peter: In that case, why did you say that?

Scampi: It’s just something I wanted to say.  It doesn’t matter what day it is.

Peter: If it doesn’t matter what day it is, then I don’t see why you had to mention the day.  That it isn’t.

Scampi: Peter!

Peter: Lower your voice.

Scampi: Come on.  It can be whatever day we want.

Peter: That is incorrect.

Scampi: No, it isn’t.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: Nope.  Isn’t.

Peter: It has to be the day that it is.

Scampi: Oh really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Interesting.  So, what day is it?

Peter: I –

Scampi: Ha!  Foiled again!

Peter: Really.

Scampi: I like to think that we’re sitting on some lawn chairs.  You know.  On the porch, on the lawn.  Howsoever it may be.

Peter: Right now?

Scampi: Right now.  Sitting in our Muskoka chairs, our Adirondack chairs.  The low buzz of insects.

Peter: What sort of insects?

Scampi: Oh, Mr Inquisitive!

Peter: [offended] I was taking a polite interest.

Scampi: That’ll be the day.

PAUSE.

Scampi: We’re sitting in the sun.  And the shade.  I mean, we’re not being assaulted by the sun, but it’s sunny out.  What do you think of that?

Peter: I hope I am wearing a hat.

Scampi: Yes, yes.  It’s all taken care of.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You’re reading the paper.  No, I’m reading the paper.  I’m reading all the weird bits aloud.  To you.  It’s starting to get on your nerves.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: You see what I’m saying?

Peter: Suburban life has its trials and tribulations.

Scampi: No!

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: You were there with me!  That’s what I’m saying.

Peter: Where?

Scampi: With the paper.  And the reading and the sun and shade.  And the insects.

Peter: I was not.  I was here.

Scampi: But you thought you were there.

Peter: Untrue.

Scampi: Oh, for a moment.

PAUSE.

Scampi: How many constellations do you know?

Peter: Personally?

Scampi: No, no.  Like, how many can you tell what they are?

Peter: Several.

Scampi: Like what?

Peter: That’s the Big Dipper.

Scampi: In Ireland they called it The Plough.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: It’s true.

Peter: Did I say that I disbelieved you?

Scampi: You implied it.

Peter: In what way?

Scampi: With your tone.

Peter: A simple misinterpretation of my tone on your behalf, I assure you.

Scampi: Oh, right.

Peter: Don’t antagonise me.

Scampi: I wasn’t.

Peter: Fine.

PAUSE.

Scampi: The plow.  Furrows and furlongs.  What else?

Peter: I am not an expert on farming.

Scampi: What about astronomy?

Peter: There is the lure of celestial bodies, to be sure.

Scampi: Yes.  Like Tycho Brahe.

Peter: What about him?

Scampi: The Swedish astronomer with the golden nose.  (Or Danish.)

Peter: I am aware of this personage.

Scampi: I know.  I thought we were talking about astronomy.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: What else do you know about him?

Peter: Other than his gilt prosthetic proboscis?

Scampi: Uh huh.

Peter: He worked with Kepler.

Scampi: In Prague.

Peter: I believe so.

Scampi: I can just see it.

Peter: With Kepler, he developed the first three laws of planetary motion.

Scampi: Of course!

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: The heavens!

Peter: I’m not sure what you mean.

Scampi: They probably looked up a lot and said things like, “the heavens”.

Peter: Uh.  Possibly.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Oh sorry.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: I thought that was your hand.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Do you feel smaller?

Peter: Than what?

Scampi: Looking at the stars?

Peter: No.

Scampi: You don’t?

Peter: Smaller than a star?

Scampi: Smaller than yourself.

Peter: That is impossible.

Scampi: Is not.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I mean like, smaller than you think of yourself being.  This is a commonly understood concept.

Peter: That is no defence of its veracity, methinks.

Scampi: Showoff.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Oh, look: a shooting star.

Peter: I did not see it.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: Truly.

Scampi: Yeah.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I didn’t see it either.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I wanted to say that, though.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Anyway, there might’ve been one.

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: Of course there could have.  It has to be possible.

Peter: That a shooting star could exist?

Scampi: Sure.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: We inhabit a garden of possibilities, Peter.

Peter: You are fond of repeating this.

Scampi: It’s true.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: I put the paper down on the grass.  We are looking out at that gorgeous sunset.

Peter: We are lost out here.

Scampi: With the stars.

pt 86: DIRECT SUNLIGHT, LIMBS

Scampi: Can you speak Italian?

Peter: Are you asking me?

Scampi: Who else would I be asking?

Peter: If I speak Italian?

Scampi: Do you?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: Yeah I knew that.

Peter: Then why did you ask?

SILENCE.

Scampi: Have you ever tried to see the backs of your legs?  It’s impossible.

Peter: I can see my calves.

Scampi: Yeah, so can I.  I mean the backs of your legs.  That you can’t see.

Peter: Why do you wish to know?

Scampi: I dunno.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I do not know.

Peter: Perhaps I shall avail myself of a siesta.

Scampi: A siesta?  Avail yourself?

Peter: Both.

Scampi: Je-suss.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: The sun is shining.

Peter: Yes.  It fatigues me.

Scampi: Fatigues you?

Peter: That is what I said.

Scampi: Goddam.

Peter: So much bluster.

Scampi: Well, yes.  It’s the only appropriate response to this sort of – mania.

Peter: My desire to take a nap?

Scampi: Precisely.  Who do you think you are, Rip van Winkle?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: You don’t sound so sure.

Peter: I am not debating this.

Scampi: Why?  Because you can’t?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh ho!

Peter: What does that even mean?  That doesn’t mean anything.

Scampi: Why don’t you just curl up under the mountain?  On a pile of treasure?

Peter: Because I am not a dragon.

Scampi: Says you.  What happened to embracing the world?

Peter: Someone’s arms got tired.

Scampi: What?  What?

Peter: Who said anything about embracing the world, anyway?

Scampi: I did.  I just did.

Peter: Yes.  Well, now’s your chance.

Scampi: How many times do I have to say this, Peter?  We’re in this venture together.

Peter: What venture?

Scampi: This one.

Peter: Are we venture capitalists?  Is that what you’re saying?

Scampi: Of a sort.  Perhaps.

Peter: I didn’t hear anything about embracing the world.  That wasn’t in the contract.

Scampi: Ebenezer Scrooge.

Peter: This analogy montage is giving me cerebral spasms.

Scampi: Keep up.

Peter: Calm down.

THANKS TO PETER AND HIS WAYS, AN IMPASSE IS FORCED.

Scampi: Thanks a lot.

Peter: Wait, how was this my fault?

Scampi: Such protestations.  Goodness.

Peter: I don’t appreciate this sort of –

Scampi: Jerrymandering?

Peter: Japery.

Scampi: Oh, Peter.

Peter: That is my name.

Scampi: We know.  That is the one thing we’ve been able, with the available instruments,  to establish, time and time again.

Peter: What instruments?

Scampi: The ones at our disposal, evidently.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I could build a fire.

Peter: Out of what?

Scampi: It’s something we can do.  We human creatures.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We could have some coffee.  Would you like some coffee?

Peter: I feel faint.

Scampi: It will get better.  Keep your limbs moving.

Peter: I feel.  Ah.

Scampi: I know.  It won’t last.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: It will get better.  Soon.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Keep moving.

pt 85: A LITTLE BIT OF ATMOSPHERE

Scampi: Can’t

Peter: Immanuel?

Scampi: Jesus.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You look like you got some sun.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Sometimes I think your hands are made of wax.

Peter: They are not.

Scampi: Candle wax.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: I’m just saying.  That’s all.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: What do you think about that?

Peter: About you saying things that are untrue?

Scampi: Forget it.

Peter: I shall do my best.

Scampi: Do you hear a crackling?

Peter: In your voice?

Scampi: No.  In the air.

Peter: No.

Scampi: It’s electric.  The air.

Peter: Your voice is cracking a little.

Scampi: It isn’t.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: It is not.

Peter: Fine.

Scampi: I like pinecones.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: I do.  Nice shape they have.

Peter: It is an ingenious design.

Scampi: [with great disdain] Design!

Peter: Roomy, yet delicate.

Scampi: Just like you!

Peter: I am not roomy.

Scampi: [CACKLES]

Peter: Well.

Scampi: Horses are good, too.  All that kind of stuff.

Peter: What kind of stuff?

Scampi: You know, horses.  And stuff.

Peter: Horses?  And?

Scampi: Stuff.

Peter: Stuff.

Scampi: You know what I mean.

Peter: This is rarely an accurate statement.

Scampi: [GUFFAWS.]

Peter: I fail to see the humour.

Scampi: This is generally an accurate statement.

Peter: Are you quite finished?

Scampi: With what?

Peter: This tomfoolery.

Scampi: Tomfoolery!  Oho, Peter!

Peter: No comment.

Scampi: Har har.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You and your waxy fingertips.

Peter: They are not waxen.  This has been established.

Scampi: Waxy.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Do you know what a dagesh is?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I bet you don’t.

Peter: That’s rude.

Scampi: It’s a dot.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: In Hebrew consonants.  It strengthens them.

Peter: I see.  Perhaps I did know that.

Scampi: Yeah right.  Anyway, can you imagine?  Strengthening a consonant.

Peter: I don’t see why not.

Scampi: Humph.  Imagine yourself.

Peter: I don’t generally have to.

Scampi: Being strengthened by a dot, I mean.

Peter: I am not a consonant.

Scampi: Don’t be too sure.

Peter: I am fairly sure.

Scampi: Well, it’s nothing to be smug about, anyway.

Peter: I don’t think—

Scampi: You probably think you’re some kind of a vowel!  Ha ha.

Peter: Incorrect.

Scampi: And sometimes y!

Peter: I am not a member of the alphabet.

Scampi: A member!  You’re killing me.

Peter: That is not the intent.

Scampi: Ah, the comprehensive Aristotelian tragedy.  Intent has nothing to do with it, I’m afraid.

Peter: That is cause to be fearful.

Scampi: It is.

THE SILENCE OF BLACKBIRDS.

Scampi: Would you like to know something else about the language of our fathers?

Peter: What are you talking about?

Scampi: The shva.  You know what that is?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: I know.  You know what it does?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Ha.  It represents four things, four different things.  Grammatical entities.  Get this.

Peter: One hopes I shall, eventually.

Scampi: Resting, moving, and floating are the first three.  You know what the last one is?

Peter: Hang-gliding?

Scampi: No.  Bleating.  (Or bellowing.)  Can you imagine?

Peter: Being so often in your company leaves little about bleating and bellowing to the imagination.

Scampi: Humph.  I bet you’d be strengthened by a pinprick to the middle.

Peter: As I have recently stated, I am not a consonant.

Scampi: True.  You might deflate.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: It would probably sound like that, too.  Or not.

PENSIVE MOMENT.

Peter: Are you suffering from a broken heart, perchance?

Scampi: I liked it better when we were talking about horses.

pt 89: PROXY

Scampi: There are a couple of things to say.

Peter: Regarding?

Scampi: Yes.  Regarding the subject of beauty.

Peter: Oh, this.

Scampi: Correct.  This.

Peter: Beauty is subjective.

Scampi: Incorrect.  Do not fill my ear with stupidities.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Look, I’m just saying.  Don’t mind me.

Peter: You look utterly exhausted.

Scampi: No, I don’t.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Beauty is like luck.

Peter: Evasive?

Scampi: Ha!  You’re so cunning, Peter.

Peter: What?

Scampi: With your little jokes.

Peter: Oh.  Well.

Scampi: To continue.

Peter: To continue.

Scampi: It is a difficult thing, this moving along.

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: One foot and then the next.

Peter: This is how we walk.

Scampi: Yes, but that’s what I’m saying.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: We walk, we walk.  One foot in front of the other.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Where the hell are we going?

Peter: That way.

Scampi: And more to the point, why aren’t we running?

pt 91: THE BROOD MARE IN THE SULTAN’S STABLES

Scampi: When I was a child.

 

Peter: When was this?

 

Scampi: Very hilarious.

 

Peter: I am simply looking for a degree of clarity.

 

Scampi: A modicum, if you will.

 

Peter: Could be.

 

Scampi: Could be.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: You like adventure stories.

 

Peter: Oh?

 

Scampi: At sea.

 

Peter: When I was a boy.

 

Scampi: Yes.

 

Peter: There was a certain appeal.

 

Scampi: Are you suggesting that the appeal is gone?

 

Peter: I am no longer a boy.

 

Scampi: No debate there.

 

Peter: I didn’t say there was.

 

Scampi: And I agree wholeheartedly.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: With the whole of my heart.

 

PETER CAREFULLY PLACES HIS HANDS INTO HIS POCKETS.

 

Scampi: I like tales of adventure.  Myself.

 

Peter: [sighs] You certainly do.

 

Scampi: Feats of bravery, clever castaways.

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: I am for it.  You know.

 

Peter: Fairy tales.

 

Scampi: Adventure.

 

Peter: What are you driving at?  May I ask?

 

Scampi: Why do we always have to talk about what I’m driving at?

 

Peter: One wonders.

 

Scampi: Coffee?

 

Peter: No, thank you.

 

Scampi: Really?

 

Peter: Yes.  Really.

 

Scampi: Fine.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What do you think of harmony?

 

Peter: Uh, harmoniousness.  Or, possibly, two or more individuals producing complementary note combinations.

 

Scampi: What are you, a dictionary?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Right.  I said what do you think about harmony.  Not what is it.

 

Peter: How do these two subjects differ?

 

Scampi: What you think about something and what it is?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Come on.

 

Peter: I am here.

 

Scampi: I wonder sometimes.

 

PETER SHRUGS, IRRITABLY.

 

Scampi: Oh, very nice.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Nothing.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Have you ever held a baby?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: That’s all?

 

Peter: Have I misunderstood the question?

 

Scampi: I mean, Yes?  That’s all?

 

Peter: I have held a baby.

 

Scampi: What did you think about it?

 

Peter: I was very careful.

 

Scampi: Did this happen only once?

 

Peter: On each occasion.

 

Scampi: God.

 

Peter: You do like to invoke the Judeo-Christian deity.

 

Scampi: You like to presume.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: Ah, a clearing.

 

Peter: You call this a clearing?

 

Scampi: What do you call it?  A meadow?

 

Peter: I might.

 

Scampi: You might.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Well, do you?

 

Peter: I could.

 

Scampi: Look, Peter.  A meadow!

 

Peter: This is very nice.

 

Scampi: Let us rest awhile.

 

Peter: Where?

 

Scampi: How about here?

 

Peter: Hm.

 

Scampi: Or here?

 

Peter: Yes.  Or perhaps just there.

 

Scampi: Okay.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I can hear the humble-bees.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Buzz buzz.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: The clover.  The honeyed air.

 

Peter: Mm.

 

Scampi: Are you sleeping?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Do you know a story?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Tell it!

 

Peter: Perhaps another time.

 

Scampi: Why not now?

 

Peter: Now is not the time.

 

Scampi: Why not?

 

Peter: B- – snurfle – vor – – fleece.

 

Scampi: What?  What?

 

Peter: My voice becomes muffled when my hat is resting on my face.

 

Scampi: I’ll say.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I like stories.

 

Peter: You certainly do.

pt 95: _______

Scampi: Good to see you.

Peter: I realise you like to keep a diary.

Scampi: I don’t.

Peter: Well, whatever you like to call it.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I did not realise this was such a sensitive subject for you.

Scampi: I have no idea what you’re on about.  But, what do you think?

Peter: Of inaccurate records?

Scampi: No: Eugene?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: Do you think Onegin really meant to kill Lensky?

Peter: I do not follow that sort of thing.

Scampi: That’s ridiculous.

PAUSE.

Scampi: He can’t really have wanted to.  But then why did he do it?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: Clearly.

Peter: Well, it’s nice to see you, too.

Scampi: We see each other all the time.  So what?

Peter: I feel that this is not the case, in fact.

Scampi: Stop bickering.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Some people [astronomers] felt that it was divine, being able to foretell the motions of the planets.  The heavens.

Peter: Divine?  You mean in the Middle Ages?

Scampi: L’Âge des ténèbres!

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Maybe I’m talking about the Reformation.

Peter: Perhaps you are.

Scampi: After the days of darkness.  The days of light!

Peter: The Enlightenment?

Scampi: I’m not saying we have to dwell on history or anything.  Around here.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: I said it already.  I distinctly mentioned astronomy.

Peter: I didn’t hear you.

Scampi: Humph.  Do you know what a contrarian is?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: No you don’t.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: A contrarian is someone who buys stocks.

Peter: I believe the term for that individual would be “stockbroker”.

Scampi: Hilarious.  Someone who buys stocks when others are selling and sells when others are buying.

Peter: Where did you find this information?

Scampi: Why?  Are you jealous?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Well, there you have it.

Peter: That is not an answer.

Scampi: Not for King Herod, anyway.

Peter: Are you suggesting that I am a fop?

Scampi: No.  Impossible.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I just think it’s fun when we learn new words.

Peter: Education is important.

Scampi: And no one knows this better than you!  Har har.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I can’t go on.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: I said,

Peter: You look tired.

Scampi: Hardly.

Peter: Slightly.

Scampi: One brick on top of the other.  This is how you build a house.

Peter: I thought we discussed the finer points of architecture previous to this juncture.

Scampi: I thought there was no architecture previous to this juncture.

Peter: How so?

Scampi: What a delightful fresco!

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I’m being a lady in Italy.  Looking at the buildings.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: That’s right.  We could go to Italy.

Peter: It is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Scampi: What did you say?  I know what you said.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Well, let’s go!

Peter: Ah, there are a few complications, of course.

Scampi: We can work as deckhands, on a steamer.  We can work in a café, on the Arno.

Peter: The plausibility.

Scampi: Yes?

Peter: It seems a stretch.

PAUSE.

Peter: I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to upset you.

Scampi: Does it matter if you mean to?

Peter: It does, I believe.

Scampi: And then Tatyana was married.  She rebuffed his advances.

Peter: Is this another Russian literature reference?

Scampi: Time is moving, Peter.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: It’s like a river.  Even if we just sit there, it moves us along.

Peter: I suppose this depends on the river in question.

Scampi: It’s a deep one.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: That, too.