pt 119: TOUGH

Scampi: Look at the sky!  What a grisly fog.

Peter: The sky is grey.

Scampi: Grizzled.  In sable silvered.

Peter: It is to be expected.

Scampi: Oh yeah.

PETER COORDINATES A SERIES OF PRIVATE MOMENTS WITH HIMSELF.

Scampi: What are you doing?

Peter: Reading.

Scampi: Oh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I had the strangest dreams.

Peter: And you are ascribing this occurrence to the barometric pressure?

Scampi: Of course I ain’t!  My comments on the grazing fog are separate from my comments on the strange dreams.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Grazing fog.

Peter: Yes, grazing fog.

Scampi (expectantly): Yes!

Peter: Why are you looking at me like that?

Scampi: Nothing.  Grazing.

Peter: You keep repeating this word.

Scampi: I know!  It doesn’t make any sense.

Peter: Agreed.

Scampi: Like smouldering chunks of the petrified forest.

Peter: Yes.  That is also nonsense.

Scampi: I dreamed I met a Galilean.

Peter: Pilate?

Scampi: Peter?

PAUSE.

Scampi: No, but really.  How can there be a cherry that’s got no stone?

PAUSE.

Scampi: Well, seed, if you prefer.

Peter: I have no preference.

Scampi: Quel surprise.  In my opinion, a cherry when it’s blooming is not a cherry.

Peter: A cherry tree?

Scampi: A cherry flower.  The blossom on the tree.  Is that a cherry to you?

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: In the sense of a cherry.  That you put in your mouth.

Peter: I would not put a cherry blossom in my mouth.

Scampi: Well, no.  Although perhaps you should.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: I can see it now!  Peter with a mouthful of cherry blossoms.

Peter: Distasteful.

Scampi: Likely bitter.  Let’s go try it out.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Let’s fill up your mouth with cherry blossoms and see what happens.

Peter: No, thank you.

Scampi: You’re welcome!  Let’s do it.

Peter: I regretfully decline.

Scampi: You liar.  Regretfully nothing.

Peter: I dislike it when you accuse me of lying.

Scampi: I dislike it when you lie about your declinations.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Declensions!  Anyway, a flower is not a fruit.  I think we can agree on that.

Peter: What makes a fruit a fruit?

Scampi: It’s about the seeds and the juiciness and things.  In biology.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: The seeds.  I mean, versus a berry.

Peter (suspiciously): Ah.

Scampi: If love was really a book, or a tale or whatever, then presumably it would end.

Peter: Unless it was the neverending story.

Scampi: The Neverending Story.  Which ended, of course.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Milk and eggs, jam and bread.

Peter: A fine shopping list.

Scampi: Shopping list!

Peter: List of ingredients?

Scampi: Could be, could be.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you like amber?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: The, uh, the thing.

Peter: The substance?

Scampi: Oh, the substance.  Hoity toity.  Yes.

Peter: What do you mean, do I like it?

Scampi: That’s what I mean.  Do you?

Peter: I hold nothing against it.

Scampi: Not even your own skin?  A palm full of amber beads?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: What is it made of?  Do you know?

Peter: Amber is made from.

Scampi: Yes?

Peter: It is a, ahem.

Scampi: Do you know what it is, or don’t you?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Well?

Peter: Resin.

Scampi: I knew that.

Peter: [intake of atmosphere]

Scampi: I was just wondering.

Peter: Amber can contain plant and animal detritus.

Scampi: Detritus?  You mean corpses.

SCAMPI SHUDDERS.

Peter: Amber is a yellowish translucent fossilised resin deriving from extinct trees.

Scampi: Especially coniferous.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Showoff.

Peter: If you do not wish to hear an answer, please refrain from asking questions.

Scampi: Hey, chill out, bro.

Peter: I am not your brother.

Scampi: Of course you are, Peter.  We are all brothers.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: We all harden up like resin, I suppose.

PAUSE.

Peter: Are you suggesting that we contain fossilised insect life?

Scampi: Perhaps.  It’s all very mysterious, really.

Peter: Unnecessarily so.  We are not discussing an opaque material.

Scampi: Aren’t we?

Peter: Perhaps I have lost the train of thought.

Scampi: Probably ‘cause it left the platform an hour ago.  Oklahoma-bound!

PAUSE.

Scampi: I take that back.  Oklahoma makes me sad.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Indian Territory.  That’s what they called it, you know.

Peter: This is no longer what they call it.

Scampi: No.  But the germ of tragedy remains.

Peter: As in seed?

Scampi: Or stone.

Peter: Or resin-bound arthropod?

Scampi: Something hard, anyway.

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pt 23: HUMIDITY

Peter: Today I feel old.

 

Scampi: How adolescent of you.

 

Peter: (Glowers.)

 

Scampi: Can I touch your stubble?

 

Peter: No!

 

Scampi: But I want to see what it’s made of.

 

Peter: It’s made of hair.

 

Scampi: Imagine having hair coming out of your face!

pt 74: THE LONESOME DOVE (THE LOAN), THE VIEW

Peter: [RUBS HIS EYES.]

 

Scampi: Tired?

 

Peter: [STRETCHES.]

 

Scampi: Did you just wake up?

 

Peter: No, no. I am merely enjoying a little midmorning constitutional.

 

Scampi: Like a walk?

 

Peter: I am facilitating blood flow.

 

Scampi: Is it working?

 

Peter: I feel a surge of renewed vigour.

 

Scampi: Can you touch your toes?

 

Peter: That’s private.

 

Scampi: It isn’t.

 

Peter: [SHOCKED.]

 

Scampi: What?

 

Peter: A man’s body is his—

 

Scampi: Corpus?

 

Peter: Porpoise?

 

Scampi: Christi?

 

Peter: None of that, now.

 

Scampi: Heh. Har.

 

Peter: You are up to no good.

 

Scampi: Says who?

 

Peter: That is my opinion.

 

Scampi: Based on what?

 

Peter: Based on the diabolical noises you were just making.

 

Scampi: Always something.

 

Peter: Ahem.

 

Scampi: There’s a hole in your sock.

 

Peter: Perhaps.

 

Scampi: Your stocking.

 

Peter: I do not wear stockings.

 

Scampi: Your stocking feet. That’s how they said it.

 

Peter: Who did?

 

Scampi: You know. The people.

 

Peter: Oh, naturally.

 

Scampi: Maybe the floor isn’t smooth enough.

 

Peter: Or the peanut butter.

 

Scampi: Are you lonely, Peter?

 

Peter: You have an issue with peanut butter?

 

Scampi: We can overlook that for the moment. Are you lonelier?

 

Peter: Than I was when last you asked?

 

Scampi: No.

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: It’s kind of wistful. How you’re staring out the window.

 

Peter: [PICKS AT DEBRIS ENCRUSTED ON HIS NECKTIE.]

 

Scampi: Your cravat is less than laundered.

 

Peter: [taking umbrage] My cravat is composed of the finest silk. It does not get laundered.

 

Scampi: Chinese silk?

 

Peter: Well.

 

Scampi: Is it?

 

Peter: I do not know.

 

Scampi: Doesn’t even know the provenance of his filthy necktie.

 

Peter: Uncalled for.

 

Scampi: I’ll call for it. Seres! Cerebus! Here, boy.

 

Peter: Are you speaking to my garments?

 

Scampi: No less. Your silks, I am.

 

Peter: Is that a riddle?

 

Scampi: Are you an equestrian?

 

Peter: I am not.

 

Scampi: Did you know something?

 

Peter: I did. I continue to know it.

 

Scampi: Jockeys wear silks. Did you know that?

 

Peter: Perhaps. Most likely.

 

Scampi: Didn’t think so. That’s what what they wear’s called, their outfit.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: Their costume. Silks.

 

Peter: A light, attractive, yet durable fabric.

 

Scampi: I could wash your tie.

 

Peter: I don’t doubt it.

 

Scampi: Tell me what you see right now.

 

Peter: Where?

 

Scampi: Now.

 

Peter: Which direction am I looking in?

 

Scampi: I don’t know. What do you see?

 

Peter: Immediately? Or in the distance?

 

Scampi: Have you ever been to Spain?

 

Peter: I have not.

 

Scampi: Oh.

 

Peter: Why do you ask?

 

Scampi: Just curious.

 

Peter: I can see the view. And the pores in my nose.

 

Scampi: Ew!

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: Pores. Yech.

 

Peter: Have you been to Spain?

 

Scampi: Who hasn’t?

 

PETER REMOVES HIS EYEGLASSES AND POLISHES THEM ON HIS THOROUGHLY-WORN NECKTIE OF FINEST INDIAN SILK.

 

Peter: I like the view from this window (of course),

 

Scampi: (of course)

 

Peter: but the sky is rather overcast.

 

Scampi: And that’s not something you like. Not something you’re a big fan of.

 

Peter: A fan? Am I a fan?

 

Scampi: You sound like a cockatoo, at present.

 

PETER SMOOTHES HIS FEATHERS WITH DIGNITY.

 

Peter: Say what you will.

 

Scampi: I shall.

 

Peter: Indeed.

 

Scampi: I shell. Shell on a shore. You know that whole thing about shells, right? Peter?

 

Peter: Are we discussing military history?

 

Scampi: No, please. I mean a shell on a beach.

 

Peter: An army could locate—

 

Scampi: It could be any beach, one of those hollow type shells.

 

Peter: A conch.

 

Scampi: Or whatever. Have you ever put one up to your ear?

 

Peter: In order to aurally witness “the sea”?

 

Scampi: Sure.

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: You haven’t?

 

Peter: Well, I don’t think so.

 

Scampi: You don’t know? You don’t even know if you did or if you didn’t?

 

Peter: I am unsure.

 

Scampi: Yes. I thought maybe you were lonely.

 

Peter: You are entitled to your thoughts.

 

Scampi: I entitle my thought regularly. As you well know.

 

Peter: I’m not sure when I was last on a beach.

 

Scampi: You don’t have to be on the beach to hear the shell. You can be at home.

 

Peter: With a shell.

 

Scampi: Yes. You bring it home, and then the sound of the sea is only an arm’s length away.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: You hear. That’s how it works.

 

Peter: I don’t believe it does work, in fact.

 

Scampi: No, I know. I was just curious.

 

Peter: To know whether I had tried it?

 

Scampi: That’s right.

 

Peter: Have you tried this? With the shell?

 

Scampi: Nonsense. I can hear the sea right now.

 

Scampi:

 

Peter:

 

Scampi: I am up to my ankles.

 

Peter: It looks like rain.

 

Scampi: It certainly doesn’t taste that way.

pt 12 ½: SUMMER STORMS (OR, HOW SCAMPI AND PETER ARE TRANSPARENT, LIKE ACETATE)

Scampi: What do you call it when the air snaps and cracks – is that electricity, or dust?

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: You know what I mean. Don’t you? You do. You know – when the air makes that sort of crackling noise, like static on a carpet.

 

Peter: When dust particles suspended in the air have sunlight passing through them they look kinda crackly. Or, um, fireflies? Is that what you mean?

 

Scampi: No.

 

Peter: I have only ever experienced what you’re describing subjectively, before a thunderstorm.

 

Scampi: Oh.

 

 

Scampi: Are you asleep?

 

Peter: No. Reading.

 

Scampi: I am watching the spectacles on your nose. They are sitting like, right at the end. And your hair on your forehead, like a young man.

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: When your hair is on your forehead like that, it makes you look more like a younger man, or maybe someone from a hundred years ago.

 

Peter: That would make me an older man.

 

Scampi: Shut up. That’s not what I meant.

 

Peter: Did you just tell me to shut up?

 

Scampi: No. Cross that out.

 

Peter: [Scampi: Shut up.]

 

Scampi: You know what’s really stupid? Feminist organisations that are stuck in some stupid thing like the second wave, or maybe the third. Wait, what wave are we on now?

 

Peter: Well—

 

Scampi: Like some dumb feminist organisation in 1997. I hate that shit.

 

Peter: Why did you decide you hate 1997 feminist organisations today?

 

Scampi: That’s not what I said. That was three weeks ago, in the morning. This is three weeks later, and it’s dark out.

 

PETER, QUIETLY READING, LETS IT GO.

 

Scampi: Do you want some potatoes? Or beets?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: Because there are some.

 

Peter: Really?

 

Scampi: Yeah.

 

Peter: Are they delicious?

 

Scampi: Pretty much.

 

PETER GLOWS IN SCAMPI’S DIRECTION

 

Scampi: Are you pregnant?

 

Peter: (stares at his stomach, and makes it pop out more) Yes. I’m carrying our love child.

 

Scampi: Because you’re glowing.

 

Peter: I’m glowing? I shaved today.

 

Scampi: No, that’s not it.

 

PETER LEAVES THE ROOM.

 

PETER RETURNS.

 

Peter: Your potatoes and beets are internationally renowned for their deliciousness.

 

Scampi: (blush).