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.

Advertisements

pt 61: THE SLOWER ROAD

Scampi: Peter, I don’t know what to think.

 

Peter: Oh? Why is that?

 

Scampi: Well, I don’t know.

 

Peter: Hardly surprising, I suppose.

 

Scampi: Everything’s going so slowly.

 

Peter: I thought you said just the other day that time was whipping past at an appalling rate.

 

Scampi: Perhaps I did. But things are going very slowly as well.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: Something or other haunts my dreams.

 

Peter: Something or other?

 

Scampi: Yes. It haunts me.

 

Peter: What does?

 

Scampi: I just told you.

 

PETER FUMBLES HIS GLASSES IN FRUSTRATION.

 

Scampi: Oh, don’t give me that.

 

Peter: Give you what? I’ve given you nothing.

 

Scampi: No one’s going to argue with you on that score.

 

Peter: Pardon me?

 

A NORTH SEA FOG DESCENDS UPON PETER’S HEAD, MUFFLING HIS VOICE.

 

Scampi: I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean that. You are a gift. A treasure, to be sure.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Look, I didn’t mean that.

 

Peter: That I’m a treasure?

 

Scampi: No, the other part. Let’s forget it.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: Sweet equanimity.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: I’m not sure what to make of anything, at present.

 

Peter: Oh?

 

Scampi: I know you’re not a big fan of jazz, for example.

 

Peter: What is that an example of, pray tell?

 

Scampi: Your musical tastes.

 

Peter: Ah.

 

Scampi: No jazz: check. But me on the other hand.

 

Peter: But you on the other hand.

 

Scampi: That seems pretty much all there is to say about it, really. I am on another hand. If I’m anywhere at all.

 

PETER SCRATCHES HIS HEAD.

 

Scampi: Are you very restless today?

 

Peter: No, I don’t think so. Why?

 

Scampi: All this moving about with your head and your accessories.

 

Peter: I do not feel that there has been undue movement.

 

Scampi: Well, not undue, no.

 

Peter: Then we are agreed.

 

Scampi: I love it when that happens!

 

PETER CLEARS HIS THROAT.

 

Scampi: What would you compare me to, if you had to compare me to something?

 

Peter: I would not.

 

Scampi: A mountain? A bird’s nest?

 

Peter: No.

 

Scampi: It was worth a try.

 

Peter: What was?

 

Scampi: The poking, the prodding. It’s nice to figure out what’s going on.

 

Peter: In my warehouse of analogy?

 

Scampi: Precisely.

 

Peter: I believe that building belongs to you.

 

Scampi: I suppose it does.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi (magnanimously): But you may visit whenever you like.

 

Peter: You are too kind.

 

Scampi: Ain’t it the truth. When was the last time you used a hammer?

 

Peter: Me?

 

Scampi: No, the postman.

 

Peter: What postman?

 

Scampi: Yes, you. A hammer. When did you use one last?

 

Peter: That’s not really the sort of thing I keep track of. That is to say,

 

Scampi: Maybe to put up a picture in your house?

 

Peter: Maybe.

 

Scampi: If I pressed a hammer into your hands at this very moment, what would you do with it?

 

Peter: I don’t know.

 

Scampi: Well. There you go, then.

 

Peter: What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: Tools.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi (dreamily): I don’t know, either.