pt 111: FUITE EN AVANT

Scampi: Forfooth!

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Forfooth!  Haw haw.

Peter: I am not following.

Scampi: Get it?

Peter: Fourth hoof?

Scampi: On a tri-legged horse.  Ha.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: No, no.  “My fweete lady!”

Peter: Tweet?

Scampi: FWEET.

PETER STARES BLANKLY.

Scampi: See, the effs are esses.  Get it?

Peter: No.

Scampi: In an old-fashioned song. I am being a classical text.

Peter: Oh, of course.  A classical text.

Scampi: Look.

SCAMPI SPELLS IT OUT FOR POOR, SLOW PETER.

Peter: What are you saying about me?

Scampi: Nothing.  I haven’t said a thing.

Peter: I suspect this is untrue.

Scampi: Suspect?  Did you hear me say anything?

Peter: Not quite.

Scampi: Well then.

PAUSE.

Scampi: In the classical days, all the effs were esses.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: I mean, the other way around.  Are you even listening to me?

Peter: Yes.  My attention is currently centred on your fascinating discourse.

Scampi: Thank you.

Peter: YAWNS.

Scampi: How rude.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Did you know, it’s polite to cover your gigantic maw when you yawrp like that?

Peter: Oh, do excuse me.  You are, as usual, a beacon of social grace in the wild darkness of my neverending font of sloth.

Scampi: I certainly am.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Yes.  Today I feel like a hundred pieces of myself.  Like each of the leaves on the trees.  Which are falling.  The leaves are, I mean.  The trees are not.

Peter: What trees?

Scampi: The trees in the park, of course.

Peter: Ah yes.  They are not falling.

Scampi: No, they are not.  Unless you’re planning to chop them down.  I wouldn’t put it past you.

Peter: That was not a part of my plans.

Scampi: Really?

Peter: Really.

Scampi: So, you have plans?

Peter: What do you mean?

Scampi: You just said you did.

Peter: Did I?

Scampi: You said, “This was not part of my plans, to cut them parky trees down”.

Peter: Ahem.  I do not believe those were my exact words.

Scampi: That was the meat of it.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: So, you have plans.  As you said yourself.

Peter: In an unspecific fashion, I suppose.

Scampi: What are you planning?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: A coup d’état?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh, can I be in it?

Peter: I am not planning a coup.

Scampi: I would be great in it.

Peter: Doubtless.

Scampi: I could make all the posters.  I am very competent in bubble and three-dimensional lettering techniques.

Peter: Competent in bubble?

Scampi: Bubble letters.  They look like balloons.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: As you well know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Sometimes I have a great urge to stare up at the night sky.

Peter: Well, don’t let me stop you.

Scampi: From what?

Peter: Observing the dome of heaven.

Scampi: At night.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: But it’s not night.

Peter: You are correct: it is not night.

Scampi: This makes it hard to see the stars.

Peter: You are chock-full of keen observations today.

Scampi: Who made you the big expert?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Oh, nothing.  What are you doing tonight?

Peter: I’m busy.

Scampi: Want to observe the stars through the fractal trees?

Peter: I believe this is a misuse of the word “fractal”.

Scampi: You would.

PAUSE.

Scampi: It’s kaleidoscopic, how I feel.

Peter: Perhaps you should sit down.

Scampi: Perhaps I can feel your heartbeat.

Peter: This is highly unlikely, from across the room.

Scampi: We aren’t in a room.

Peter: I thought we were.

Scampi: I don’t think we are.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: We are in a field.

Peter: This is implausible.

Scampi: A field of stones.

Peter: A quarry?

Scampi: How dark.

Peter: You have something against quarries?

Scampi: Don’t you?  With a name like Peter.

Peter: No.

Scampi: What do you think the difference is, do you think?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: I mean the difference between the rocks being made and the rocks being broken.

Peter: [boomingly] Perhaps they are one and the same.

Scampi: There’s no need to narrate like that.  Perhaps they are one and the same.

Peter: I was not disagreeing.

Scampi: Sure, sure.  Like a broken plate.

Peter: I am like a broken plate?

Scampi: No, the mess is the same.  The mess of the pieces on the kitchen floor, and the mess of the plate when it was whole.

Peter: Pottery is a messy business.

Scampi: Ceramics.

Peter: A skilled trade.

Scampi: This whole thing.  It’s a messy business.

PAUSE.

Scampi: It’s a mess, Peter.

Peter: You seem agitated.

PAUSE.

Peter: Is it really necessary to stare like that?

Scampi: In fact, it is.

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pt 120: GAMBOL

Scampi: Let’s put out coats on.

Peter: Our coats?

Scampi: Yes.  We each get one.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Standard issue.

PAUSE.

Scampi: And our scarves.  Let’s go out into the world.

Peter: Perhaps later on.

Scampi: Later on?  What’s wrong with you?

Peter: That is a personal question.

Scampi: You wish.  You don’t want to go out into the world?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: What are you, scared?

Peter:  No.

Scampi: Oh, I see.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Nothing.  I guess you just – don’t want to go for a walk.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: For whatever reason.

Peter: That is correct.

Scampi: Do you want some more coffee?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: This is a good season to walk amidst the weather.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: To look up at the sky, for example.

Peter: This is always possible.

Scampi: That’s what you think.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: Yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: One never encounters you listening to motown music.  I’ve noticed.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: I’m just saying.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: I dunno.  The coffee is weak.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Sorry.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: We should dance.

Peter: [alarmed] Right now?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: But we should.  Sometime this year.

Peter: To what end?

Scampi: It’s the right thing to do.

Peter: I am unsure.

Scampi: I know.  I’ve been thinking about raccoons.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Not that much, though.

Peter: Well, thank you for keeping me informed.

Scampi: No problem.  I’m here for you, Peter.

PETER RUBS HIS EYES.

Scampi: Rubbler.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Yes, this coffee is weak.

Peter: Yes.  You spoke about this earlier.

Scampi: I know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you know what a lute is?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Hm.  It has to do with cats’ guts and love.

Peter: Of course!  What doesn’t?

Scampi: None of that: I’m just speaking about like, mid-century romantic-type ballads.  Minstrels and such.

Peter: Mid what century?

Scampi: An old one.  Say, sixteen.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Finger plucking.  Courtly love.

Peter: I suppose you no longer wish to go for a stroll?

Scampi: I never said that.

Peter: Said what?

Scampi: I didn’t say I didn’t want to go for a stroll.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Do you want to?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: It’s still daylight.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We could walk down by the river.

Peter: What river?

Scampi: I don’t know.  The Euphrates?

Peter: The Danube?

Scampi: Absolutely.  Lute-lee.

Peter: Pum-pum-pum-pa-pum-

Scampi: Pum-PA-pum-PA!  A waltz.

Peter: Where have I placed my necktie?

Scampi: Forget it.  This is an informal outing.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: It is a beautiful day.

Peter: Yes.  I feel an irrationally excessive surge of ill-will.

Scampi: Oh?

Peter: This is unavoidable, it would seem.

Scampi: Maybe I can help.

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh, look!  A sparrow.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: Sh.  Stay still.

Peter: Umph?

THE SPARROW ALIGHTS ON PETER’S STANDARD ISSUE COAT.  THE LIGHT ADJUSTS.

Scampi: Ah.

Peter: Well, that was interesting.

Scampi: You made a friend.

Peter: I did?

Scampi: I think so.  Yes.