pt 121: AS YOUR FATHER TILLED THE SOIL

Scampi: You look like a statue of yourself.

Peter: I regret to inform you that this is incorrect.

Scampi: I regret to inform you that a pigeon just shat on your head.

Peter: [alarmed] What?

Scampi: Ha ha, ho ho.  Just joking.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: A plaster of Paris.  A concrete imperialist.

Peter: Why must you do this?

Scampi: I’m not the one who annexed Scotland.

Peter: That doesn’t make any sense.

Scampi: Have you ever been plastered in Paris?  Or does that offend your Teutonic sensibilities?

Peter: I do not know how to respond to such a barrage.

Scampi: Nobody knows the trouble you’ve seen.

Peter: That is not what I said.

Scampi: Of course it isn’t.  What do you know about prehistoric Spain?

Peter: Prehistoric?

Scampi: Or like, paleo-something.

Peter: Paleolithic?

Scampi: Paleohispanic.  You know what that is?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: No, you don’t.

PETER SIGHS.

Scampi: Nobawdy knooooows your sorrow.

PAUSE.

Scampi: It was the language they spoke on the Iberian Peninsula.  Before they spoke Spanish, obviously.

Peter: Yes, this is obvious.

Scampi: Like, imagine a map of Spain.  Like a big chunk.

Peter: I wish to lean against this tree.

Scampi: Is something wrong?

Peter: No.  I resent the inference.

Scampi: Was something inferred?

Peter: I prefer to rest myself against this tree.

Scampi: I resent the preference.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: Well, I’m sure the tree does.

Peter: Excuse me.  I must rifle through the pockets of my coat.

Scampi: What do you know about our paleo-historical Spanish friends?  Not much, that’s for sure.

Peter: No.  Not much.

Scampi: Me neither.  This isn’t some kind of etymological manhunt, you know.

Peter: Ah.  A great relief.

Scampi: No need to stutter.

PAUSE.

Scampi: NO NEED TO TALK ABOUT PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGE BLAH BLAH.

Peter: Why are you shouting?

Scampi: I’m not shouting.

Peter: You were.

Scampi: You were.  I was minding my very own business, personally.

A SPRING RAIN FALLS.

Peter [observantly]: It is not springtime.

Scampi: No, it isn’t.  You’re becoming an old man in your boots.

Peter: What boots?

Scampi: Your feet on the earth.  You stand in one spot and grow older.

Peter: Are you trying to say I am stagnating?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Oh.  I see.

Scampi: You can just sit around all night buying tomatoes.

Peter: Where would I do this?

Scampi: I have no idea.  Right off the vine.  Who cares?  No one’s buying any tomatoes around here, that’s for sure.

Peter: Not at the present moment.

Scampi: The present moment.  The moment is a present.

Peter [acidly]: Yes.

Scampi: A gift, Peter.  Don’t you like gifts?

Peter: I am becoming damp in this rain.

Scampi: I’m noticing that.

Peter: What are your plans?

Scampi: “The great affair is to move.”

Peter: Hmph.

Scampi: Steady on.

Peter: Don’t touch me.

Scampi: Fine.  Sway all you want.  I don’t mind the hurricane.

Peter [above the wind]: What?

Scampi: Nothing!

Peter: Eh?

Scampi: Forget it!

PETER STRUGGLES WITH HIS COLLAR.

Scampi: Collard greens.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: I can’t hear you.

Peter: I’ve been thinking about my father.

Scampi: Oh, great.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Let’s get out of this rain.

Peter: I don’t want to get out of this rain.  I like it here.

Scampi: So what?  So do I.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Hm?

Peter: Do you want to go inside?

Scampi: What?

Peter: I’ve been thinking about my father.

Scampi: You’ve been thinking about yourself.

Peter: What?

Scampi: You have to keep up with yourself.

Peter: It’s raining.

Scampi: (I know.)

Peter [mumbling]: The rain is falling.

Scampi: So are we.

Advertisements

pt 57: ROOSTING

Scampi: See, Peter,

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Well, I’m just saying.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: Well.  So there are these pigeons roosting all over the place.  Everywhere.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I know you know this.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: You’ve seen a pigeon or two, in your time.

Peter: They are members of a moderately ubiquitous species.

Scampi: Yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Moving on in this vein.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: If you will.

Peter: I may.

Scampi: The city is full of brick buildings.  They are red-brick.  Or yellow.  Actually, there are a number of possibilities.

Peter: I do not dispute this.

Scampi: No, well.  I mean, you wouldn’t, would you?

Peter: I didn’t, which is rather more the material point.

Scampi: The material in question is in fact brick.  Whatever colour it might be.  The colour is immaterial.

Peter: You had something to say about pigeons.

Scampi: And I said it.  It led to bricks, basically.

Peter: Pigeons lead to bricks?

Scampi: Effectively.

Peter: That’s absurd.

Scampi: It isn’t.

PETER SIGHS.

Scampi: Look, if you see a whole bunch of pigeons.  Taking it easy I mean.

Peter: If I did.

Scampi: Where are they?

Peter: Are we expecting someone?

Scampi: What?

Peter: Where are who?

Scampi: The pigeons.

Peter: What pigeons?

Scampi: The hypothetical theoretical pigeons.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Peter!  The pigeons I was talking about.

PETER STARES LIKE A CABBAGE ON A BARROW AT THE COUNTY FAIR.

Scampi: I said, If you were to see all these pigeons.  Like, just say you did.

Peter: If they were gathered en masse.

Scampi: Which, you’ll admit, is not such a rarity.

Peter: You speak the truth.

Scampi: Well, where might they be sitting?

Peter: In the eaves.  On the roof.

Scampi: Quite right.

PETER SHRUGS.

Scampi: Of a brick building!  That’s what I’m saying.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: That it’s not such a stretch as you made out.  Pigeons to brick.  So,

PAUSE.

Scampi: What are you doing with that measuring tape?

Peter: Ensuring our continued felicity.

Scampi: Are you distancing yourself from me?

Peter: I’m just checking up on the numbers, my friend.

Scampi: My friend!  Funny guy.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: I just think how you talk is funny sometimes.  In a good way.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Is that okay with you?

Peter: I suppose it is.

Scampi: That’s the best supposition you’ve made all day.

Peter: Humph.

Scampi: You should have it framed.  Bronzed, even.

Peter: Are you quite alright?

Scampi: I dunno.  Why do you ask?

Peter: Far be it from me to pry.

Scampi: [Snickers.]

Peter: Ahem.  But you don’t seem exactly yourself today.

Scampi: I suppose that’s true.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Yes.  I feel more like a reasonable facsimile.

Peter: Why’s that?

Scampi: I don’t know.  Or maybe I do.

Peter: I think that correctly identifies the two possibilities.

Scampi: Thankyou.

Peter: Can I get you something?

Scampi: Naw.  Maybe.

Peter: A coffee, perhaps?

Scampi: Um yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Thanks, Peter.

Peter: My pleasure.

Scampi: Yes.  I think I’m trying to situate myself.  You know?  The pigeons, the brick.  I mean, I haven’t talked about the weather.

Peter: You have not.

Scampi: Are we in a snowglobe?  Are we galloping across the plains?

Peter: What questions.

Scampi: In my left hand is the entire sky.  Including the ground it’s touching.

Peter: It looks rather like a coffee mug.

Scampi: No, no.  Listen Peter.

Peter: Don’t burn yourself.

Scampi: In my right hand, I’ve got the weather, the time of day.  That stuff.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: I am juggling my own hands.  I am flapping them at a birdcage full of nouns.

Peter: I don’t follow you.

Scampi: No, you don’t.

Peter: Hm.  At least that’s settled.

Scampi: I just thought it would be nice to talk about some stable items.  Otherwise the extrapolation might vanquish me.  On a day like today I mean.  Surely you can see this.

Peter: You look peakish.

Scampi: I’m afraid to look down.

pt 127: BEFORE THE CITY FELL, WHEN WE LOVED ONE ANOTHER

Scampi: Are you aware of how the twits of Russia felt about poetry?

Peter: I did not realise that you harboured a dislike for Russians.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Do you have something against Russians?

Scampi: I love our Russki brethren.  I was referring to the Soviet jerks.

Peter: Who?

Scampi: Sending poets off to the gulag for what?  Being decadent and metaphysical.  What do you think about that?

Peter: That is truly unfortunate.

Scampi: Unctuous words on troubled waters.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I hope I’m not being too decadent and metaphysical for you, Herr Kommandant.

Peter: That is not Russian.

Scampi: What a linguist you are today.  Boy oh boy.

Peter: [SNIFFS DELICATELY, LIKE A VICTORIAN LADY]

Scampi: Ho, ho.

Peter: What is the joke, pray tell?

Scampi: Oh, nothing.

PAUSE.

Peter: Where did we go wrong?

A SPOON CLATTERS TO THE FLOOR.

Scampi: We you and me?  Or we the human race?

Peter: Let’s start small.  We us.

Scampi: E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle!

Peter: I do not know what that means.

Scampi: Do you know what Dante means?

Peter: You behave as though I mistake myself for a classical scholar.

Scampi: You behave as though you mistake yourself for a classical scholar.

PAUSE.

Scampi: “And then we emerged to see the stars again.”

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: To gaze upon the stars.

Peter: A noble pursuit, no doubt.

Scampi: You say that as though there were doubt involved.

Peter: This was unintentional.

Scampi: It’s all unintentional.  That’s the problem.

Peter: This could be a problem.

Scampi: It certainly could.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: You have seen the stars before, I presume?

Peter: The stars?

Scampi: Viz., the constellations.  Such as Andromeda.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: It is permitted to see the stars.

Peter: Lovely.

Scampi: Yes.  The Andromeda Galaxy is very far away.

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: Technically.

Peter: I believe it is also very far away in layman’s terms.

Scampi: What would you call a collision with the Milky Way?  In layman’s terms.

Peter: Well.  Although I am not an astronomer.

Scampi: You know who’s an astronomer?

Peter: A number of persons are astronomers.

Scampi: Says you.  Abd el-Rahman al-Sufi.  That’s who.

Peter: Are you trying to hint at something?

Scampi: Preposterous.

Peter: If you’ll excuse me, there seems to be a theme here.

Scampi: Themes, my friend, are one thing.  Hinting, on the other hand, is not my strong suit.

Peter: [LAUGHS].

Scampi: Humph.  You know, I don’t picture you looking at the stars.

Peter: I can look at the stars as well as the next man.

Scampi: It’s got nothing to do with looking well.

Peter: Thank you for keeping me aware of your fascinating world view.

Scampi: A man could die and leave all his letters behind.

Peter: This is something that could happen.

Scampi: In the pockets of the populace.  A man could die and have his letters burned in Vienna.

Peter: These are all possibilities.

Scampi: How do you feel about your correspondence being published in the paper?

Peter: [alarmed] Is my correspondence being published in the paper?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I mean at some future date.

Peter: I have nothing to hide.

Scampi: Oh ho!

PETER GLOWERS.

Scampi: The milky circles over our heads.

Peter: Haloes?

Scampi: If you like.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Can you fly?

Peter: [sharply] Why would ask that?

Scampi: I dunno.  Just curious.

Peter: I have no idea why you would imagine that I could fly.

Scampi: I was just asking.  Pigeons can fly.

Peter: That has been determined.

Scampi: We’ve all been determined.  Some time.

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: But have we all been pigeons at some point?

Peter: No.

Scampi: How can you be so sure?

Peter: We have not been pigeons.

Scampi: But we have been stars.