pt 75: POLITICS

Scampi: Oh, “Peter”.

Peter (warily): Yes?

Scampi: How are you this fine day?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I am well.

Scampi: Well, indeed.  That’s where I’m headed, too.  Back to the well.  Once again.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Of course you do.  You’re not the Chancellor of the Exchequer for nothing!

Peter: The what?

Scampi: You’re a busy man, you are.  An immunodiplomatic powerhouse.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: A clay pot in a dowager’s garden.

Peter: I need a haircut.  Do you think I need a haircut?

Scampi: I think I should sharpen myself to a fine point, bounce off the west wall at atomic speed, and raze you a crewcut with my trajectories.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Pull up a chair.

Peter: Why’s that?

Scampi: You’re pacing.

Peter: That is my own business.

Scampi: Of course it is, Your Excellency.  Humblest apologies.

Peter: What’s with all the honorifics?

Scampi: What’s with being the Minister of Finance?

Peter: That’s not a rebuttal.

Scampi: What is it then?

Peter: It’s a, well, it’s not true.

Scampi: How dare you?

Peter: What?

Scampi: The truth is sacred here.  We are great proponents of truth and justice and such.

Peter: We are?

Scampi (pompously): Yes.

Peter: I was not aware of this.

Scampi: Hardly surprising.  Given your record.

Peter: What record?

Scampi: There are many records.  Records are kept.

Peter: And the archivist in charge?

SCAMPI CACKLES KNOWINGLY.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: That’s right.  Hm indeed.

SCAMPI WHISTLES A FRANCO-ROMANIAN BALLAD.

Peter: That noise.

Scampi: What?

Peter: God.

Scampi: What?  A guy can whistle.

Peter: You’re not a guy.

Scampi: What does that have to do with anything?  Eh?

SILENCE.

Scampi: I’m a wanderer.

Peter: Intellectually?

Scampi: A tinker a tailor.

Peter: You certainly like tinkering.

Scampi: I’m a candlestick maker.

Peter: Right.

Scampi: I am, in fact.  Would you like to purchase a candlestick?

Peter: Not today.

Scampi: What do you mean, not today?

Peter: Perhaps another time.

PAUSE.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Oh.  I’m not sure.

Peter: Was that?  Did you just?

Scampi: It fell.

PETER SIGHS.

Peter: Let me get the broom.

Scampi: No, no.  I’ll do it.

Peter: [Acquiesces.]

Scampi: Sorry.  It fell.

Peter: It doesn’t matter.

Scampi: [humming distractedly] La bohème, la bohème…..

Peter: I think it fell over there.

Scampi: Oh, right, right.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Sorry.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I happen to know.

Peter: Full stop?

Scampi: I happen to know that this was not your favourite wineglass or anything.

Peter: Oh?  And how do you know that?

Scampi: I just know.

Peter: Convenient for you, isn’t it?

Scampi: (philosophically) It can be.

Peter: Great.

Scampi: Peter?  Petereteretereteretereter.

Peter: Elocution issues?

Scampi: I was just checking if you can hear me.

Peter: I can.

Scampi: I wasn’t sure, you see.  I had to check.

Peter: Who were you under the impression you were engaging in conversation with?

Scampi: Dr Preposition and the Fullstops.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I am unsure how to proceed.

Peter: Affirmative.

Scampi: Affirmative?

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: What the hell does that mean?

Peter: At the risk of behaving like a thesaurus.

Scampi: I know what it means.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: I don’t know what you mean.  By it.  What do you mean?

Peter: I think you need to take a break.  Take a breather.

Scampi: From what?  You can’t tell me what to do.

Peter: That’s nice.  Very nice.

Scampi: What are you saying?

Peter: You’re babbling.

Scampi: So what?  What else is new?

Peter: Slow down.

Scampi: No.

Peter: Okay.  Don’t.

Scampi: I won’t.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I can’t stop.

Peter: Why is that?

Scampi: I don’t know where I’m going.

Advertisements

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.