pt 118: HILLS MADE OUT OF DUST

Scampi: I can’t quite put it into words.

Peter: I can’t hear you.

Scampi: I’m not mumbling!

Peter: Sorry?

Scampi: Urgh!

A PAUSE REPLETE WITH MAGENTA AND BANANA LEAVES.

Sacmpi: I wish I could explain this to you.

Peter: I am simply going about my daily life.  I am a busy man.

Scampi: You’re always a busy man.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: These days.

Peter: I have many responsibilities.

Scampi: Yeah, like what?

Peter: I have important work to do.  I have bills to pay.

Scampi: False.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Forget it.

SILENCE.

Scampi: Could I offer you a tiny cup of scalding coffee laced with cardamom?

Peter: Oh?  What’s this all about?

Scampi: This is one way to have coffee, between friends.

Peter: Were you intending to be friendly?

Scampi: Really!  Don’t be preposterous!

Peter: Ah.  This is one way to have coffee.

Scampi: Yes.  We might discuss the days gone by and the days to come.

Peter: And what of the days at hand?

Scampi: They are swarming me.  Like fishes and bees.

Peter: Is something amiss?

Scampi: I don’t think so.  I believe it is all right as rain.

Peter: Is it raining?

Scampi: Somewhere it is.  Presumably.

Peter: Is this a meteorological fact?  That it is raining in some location at all times?

Scampi: Well, isn’t it?

Peter: No.  Perhaps.

Scampi: Just not in Antarctica, the driest place on earth.

Peter: No.

Scampi: My mind is simply stuffed.

Peter: With Antarctic aridity?

Scampi: Absolutely not.  With emotions.

Peter: Er.

Scampi: I don’t even know what kind of a noise that is.

Peter: Eh?

Scampi: You’re like the Consul General of the British Isles.  With these noises.

Peter: That is not my present occupation, in fact.

Scampi: Well, it is in fiction.

A PLAINTIVE RATTLE OF MOURNING DOVES.

Scampi: Whereas I am so thrilled and lowly.

Peter: Holey?

Scampi: Amen!

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Low-some.  Down, down, in the depths of good cheer.

Peter: Is this the Homemaker’s Guide to Manic Depression?

Scampi: Oh, Peter.  Stop being so tense.  I’m simply explaining the state of affairs.

Peter: Well-stated.

Scampi: And speaking of the state of the nation, maybe you should go drape yourself in a colonial flag, like a cape, you know.

Peter: I have no reason to engage in such an activity.

Scampi: On the contrary, you love that sort of thing.

Peter: I feel I am being typecast.

Scampi: Typical.

Peter: There you go again.

Scampi: Don’t blame me for the faults of your feet.

Peter: That is a quote from something.

Scampi: Oho, “something”.  Well-cited.

Peter: It is not my task to cite your quotations for you.

Scampi: No, it certainly isn’t.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I am seeing a lot of beautiful things.  Of course.

Peter (yawning): Of course.

Scampi: Don’t let me disturb you with this familiar train of thought or anything.  But the beauty is manifesting itself differently.

Peter: I wonder if I should moisturise my beard.

Scampi: I don’t even know what’s being left behind.

Peter: Perhaps a residue of white flakes.

Scampi: Not in your beard, Peter.

Peter: Oh?  Where?

Scampi: With me.

Peter: You feel you are being left behind?

Scampi: No!

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: I’m trying to figure out these important things and all you do is talk about your beard.

Peter: Ah!  Thusly we see that in your estimation, my beard is unimportant.

Scampi: No, of course not.  Your beard is like a goddam christly miracle.  To me.  In its multitudinous bounty.

Peter: It is perhaps a touch full, of late.

Scampi: It is a thing in this world, anyway.

Peter: Or a portion of my face.

Scampi: Face shmace: we’re all things in this world.  Stack of dirhams in a treasury.

Peter: To whom does this treasury belong?

Scampi: One wonders.

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pt 65: I HAVE LONG BEEN A SLEEPER BUT I TRUST

Scampi: Antarctica is full of snow.

 

Peter: What’s this?

 

Scampi: Valleys and plains, all made of snow. Lakes of snow.

 

Peter: Oh, really? Have you been?

 

Scampi: You know I have not.

 

SCAMPI REFLECTS UPON THESE AND OTHER FACTS FOR ONE OR TWO, PERHAPS SEVERAL DAYS.

 

Scampi: I am in the air on the subject, like a weather balloon.

 

Peter: What subject?

 

Scampi: I have been thinking.

 

Peter: Laudable.

 

Scampi: Is it?

 

Peter: Well, I suppose.

 

Scampi: You suppose so. Do you?

 

Peter: I suppose I do.

 

Scampi: Suffused with supposition. That’s you.

 

Peter: Where’s this going, now?

 

Scampi: Where do you want it to go? To the mountains?

 

Peter: Onward and upward.

 

Scampi: As they say.

 

Peter: They do. Wait, who does?

 

Scampi: They say it all the goddam time, Peter. You know this.

 

Peter: Are you in a violent frame of mind this morning?

 

Scampi: Who, me? I am a dove, a dove.

 

Peter: [PERTURBED]

 

Scampi: [ATTEMPTS THE QUIET OF MOUNTAIN RANGES.]

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Would you like to play a game?

 

Peter: Unlikely. What sort of game?

 

Scampi: A parlour game. An old-fashioned rigamarole of a time.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: This diversion is called “Fill in the blanks”. Ready?

 

Peter: I suppose.

 

Scampi: Ahem. The death of a loved one is ______?

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: You’re supposed to fill in the blanks.

 

Peter: I don’t understand this game.

 

Scampi: Why not?

 

Peter: It doesn’t make any sense.

 

Scampi: No. It doesn’t.

 

Peter: I would like to clear my throat.

 

Scampi: I support that.

 

Peter: Thank you.

 

Scampi: Have a clearance sale. Folks will come for miles. PETER’S BIGTIME THROAT-CLEARANCE SALE! EVERYTHING MUST GO!

 

Peter: I don’t know what manner of amphibian is setting up shop in there.

 

Scampi: In your throat?

 

Peter: Indeed. But I feel he should select a different habitat.

 

Scampi: Sometimes one has to move.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: Sometimes one is in the wrong spot.

 

Peter: Quite.

 

Scampi: The significance of this is not lost on me. For example.

 

Peter: Oh, very little is.

 

Scampi: Very funny.

 

Peter: I thought so.

 

Scampi: I could tell.

 

PETER CLEARS HIS THROAT.

 

Scampi: Did we ever make it to Mexico?

 

Peter: I don’t know.

 

Scampi: Are we leaving them behind? Or are they leaving us?

 

Peter: Who?

 

Scampi: Our loved ones.

 

Peter: I don’t know.