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.


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.


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 17: CANYONS

Scampi: Today I would like to speak about Natural History.


Peter: I can hardly contain my anticipation.


Scampi: Natural History is all about birds, fish, the tips of trees that you cannot see because you are on the ground, and the human heart, that maudlin manic fist.


Peter: It does not take a top-notch prepschool education to disprove such nonsense.


Scampi: Peter, why don’t you open up your ribcage and breathe in some possibilities? You are behaving like a sucking chest wound.


Peter: I often have difficulty with the imagery you employ.


Scampi: We are all eminently employable, at heart.


Peter: Can I mention something about science fiction classics here?


Scampi (graciously): Yes. Now, on to brighter climes. Existence, like being a waitress, is a dance. It is a waltz, it is a foxtrot. It is a moshpit, and a bathroom overdose on the side, and it is a prayer, a softshoe jazz routine and a humble request to not fall over, please. It is a pickup truck, for god’s sake. It’s all a dance. Give me your hand.


Peter: You may look at it, but you can’t keep it.


Scampi: Peter’s fingers are surprisingly slender. I have known men with longer, thinner fingers than this, but those fingers were attached to longer, thinner men.


Peter: Are you insinuating something about my appearance?


Scampi: I insinuate nothing. I am toxic with infatuation.


Peter: Oh?


Scampi: From the solar system right on down to the paint scraper in my pocket, I am idiotically infatuated with this world. You have no idea. It even hurts. It hurts like your stomach hurts when you’re laughing so hard you can’t breathe, but you still can’t stop. That’s how I feel about this world.


Peter: Hurt?


Scampi: Don’t mind if I do.