pt 143: THE OCELOT & THE EAGLE

Scampi: It should be remembered of course that nothing is certain.

Peter: Certainly!

Scampi: Oh, look who’s decided to go all jocular all of a sudden.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: I, of course, am busy feeling up the grooves of history with my anthropologic tongue.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: It’s a textured approach.

Peter: Would you like some tea?

Scampi: Damn right.

PETER WRINKLES HIS NOSE IN DISTASTE LIKE AN ADOLESCENT SKUNK.

Scampi: Whatsa matter?

Peter: There is no matter.

Scampi: Except for the matter at hand, which is that you entertain the delicacy of a gourmand. Nobody knows why, mind you.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: It would be entirely possible to doze off in the shade of these reeds.

Peter: What reeds?

Scampi: The ones on the riverbank, of course.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: What I’m trying to explain, you know.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Well, it’s all very here and there. That’s all I’m saying.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: There’s no need to emit such a noise. I am not a dentist.

Peter: [huffily] I have never accused you of dentistry.

Scampi: Humph.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Sometimes I feel so completely surrounded by history. As though it’s in my living room.

Peter: From my well-stuffed and starched perception of the universe, I can tell you that history is behind you. And the future is ahead, and no one is in your living room.

Scampi: I’ll believe that when I see it.

Peter: Time proceeds in a linear fashion.

Scampi: You have no way of knowing what’s going on in my living room while you loll about on a riverbank.

Peter: [peevishly] Nobody said we were on a riverbank.

Scampi: False! History cuddles you from all sides, like the words of your grandmothers.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: You just have to run through it.

Peter: Run through what?

Scampi: I don’t know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: To get to the other side?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I can’t think straight.

Peter: Yes. This is readily apparent.

SCAMPI TOSSES SPINY DARTS AT PETER’S HEAD, PLAYFULLY.

Peter: Stop that.

Scampi: Indeed. The people loved their maize. And eagles and snakes, and jaguars and frogs and human blood and sunshine.

Peter: People like many things.

Scampi: Yes. But we don’t build so many statues any more, do we?

Peter: I do not build statues.

Scampi: No. I could almost just drift off, in this dappled shade.

Peter: What time is it?

Scampi: I’m not sure. It’s either an hour earlier or an hour later.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: One can almost hear the gulls.

Peter: What gulls?

Scampi: From the nineteen-thirties. Calling out on an English beach.

Peter: Nonsense.

Scampi: The noises of the past are one simple eyelash away.

PETER SIGHS.

Scampi: See? That sigh wasn’t even yours. It was taken directly from the Regency Period.

Peter: You do natter on.

Scampi: Who are you, René Descartes?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Therefore you don’t think? Har har.

Peter: I admit the reeds are pleasant.

Scampi: I admit I don’t know what time it is. Luckily, you’re Peter and I’m Scampi.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Oh, look!

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: A coracle.

Peter: How suspicious.

Scampi: Quick, let’s climb in.

Peter: Erm.

Scampi: How else are we supposed to find out which way the river flows?

Peter: By standing in it?

Scampi: We aren’t statues, Peter.

Peter: No. We are not statues.

Scampi: Right.

Peter: What are we then?

Scampi: Sailors, apparently.

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pt 55: JAYBIRDS

Scampi: Hello?

Peter: Are you awake?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: You are?

Scampi: Basically.

Peter: There are two enormous bluejays on my balcony.

Scampi: Oh yes.

Peter: They are the size of seagulls.

Scampi: Very nice.

Peter: They are very large.

Scampi: Do you think they might be us?

Peter: I’m referring to the feathered creatures.  Not the baseball team we play on.

Scampi: You’re funny.

Peter: You should see them.

Scampi: I can’t see them.

Peter: Well, maybe they’ll come back.

pt 52: NICKEL

Scampi: It is deep down in the earth.  Like, in the mines, but they aren’t mines, just rock below us.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Seams of, I dunno, emotion and like, raw material.

Peter: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Scampi: That’s because I’m on an island in the middle of nowhere.  Or in the middle of Greenwich, if you’re going to get all longitudinal at me.

Peter: [SIGHS.]  Are you having a geographically-based episode or something?

Scampi: Episode?  Am I a teevee show?

Peter: You seem to be in a highly agitated state.

Scampi: What, like Arkansas?

Peter: Really.

Scampi: Ha ha.  Ho ho.

Peter: Come now.

Scampi:  Hey hey, ho ho, Peter wants my puns to go!

Peter: Jesus!

Scampi: Yes, Judas?

PAUSE.

Scampi: Oh.  Oops.  Uh.  Sorry?  Peter?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: I’m only teasing.

Peter: To what end?

Scampi: I dunno.  I’m in a goofy mood.

Peter: You are giving me a migraine.

Scampi: Sorry.

Peter: Fine.

Scampi: I was thinking about all sorts of stuff.  I was thinking about precious metals and everything.

Peter: You had better go to bed.

Scampi: Aye, skip.  Full’n’bye.

Peter: Now.

Scampi: Oh, now?

Peter: Probably.

Scampi: I think you’re right.

pt 102: LORD ACTON

Scampi: You know what I said then?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Are you listening to my story?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Argh.

Peter: Excuse me.

Scampi: Fine.

Peter: You were saying?

Scampi: I might have been saying anything.  Who cares?

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I refuse to accept your dictum!

Peter: Are you speaking to me?

Scampi: You and the pope.

Peter: I am not a papist.

Scampi: What vocabulary.  Like a sixteenth century magistrate.

Peter: [disgruntled]

Scampi: For shame.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What were we talking about?

Peter: You were talking.

Scampi: Peter.

Peter: You call me by my true name.

Scampi: I do.

Peter: My head.

Scampi: It looks nice.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I am still tired.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I reject the idiot shrapnel.

Peter: This seems a sound policy.

Scampi: Do you know what I’m talking about?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Fired from all directions.

Peter: An assault.

Scampi: I do not accept it.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: Is it time to sleep?

Peter: Please, do not let me interfere with your plans.

Scampi: That is the opposite.

Peter: Of what?

Scampi: The point.

Peter: Perhaps I did not understand the point.

Scampi: Lord.  Perhaps.

pt 37: CAMELOT

Scampi: Each year, from December to December.

 

Peter quoth: Hark!  I have slain the evil sorceress who liveth at the edge of the forest.

 

Scampi: That wasn’t very nice.

 

Peter quoth: Nay, but for that I slew her with my goodness and incomparable beauty.

 

Scampi: Oh.

 

Peter quoth: She knew me not.  I blinded her with white light, that she could not look upon my face.

 

Scampi: Who do you think you are?  Sir Galahad?

 

Peter: No.  I don’t talk like that.

 

Scampi: I suppose all good things must come to an end.

 

Peter: Yes.  Especially when they are works of fiction.

pt 97: FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW

Scampi: Your nose is shimmering in the heat.

Peter: Hardly.

Scampi: It is.

Peter: I feel rather sluggish.

Scampi: Like a slug!  Ha.

Peter: Not slug-like.

Scampi: A briny, spotted sluggy.

Peter: As you wish.

Scampi: I wish.

Peter: Do you think my face looks different?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: If we are apprehended, will you stick up for me?

Peter: Why would we be apprehended?

Scampi: On our grand adventure.  Anything is possible.

Peter: I do not believe you need to worry.

Scampi: Famous last words.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Would you?

Peter: Be apprehended?

Scampi: Stick up for me.  You know, take my side.

Peter: I suppose that would depend on what you had done.

Scampi: What I had done?  What’s that supposed to mean?

Peter: Well, I don’t know what you’ve been apprehended for.  How do I determine whether or not I will take your part in the debate?

Scampi: Ridiculous.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: You’re supposed to be my partner in crime.

Peter: I am not a criminal.

Scampi: Of course not.  Neither am I.

Peter: [SIGHS.]

Scampi: Maybe we should be more careful.

Peter: In what respect?

Scampi: You know, cover our tracks.  That sort of thing.

Peter: We have nothing to hide.

Scampi: Do you think so?

Peter: This is a transparent operation.

Scampi: Oh, so it’s an operation, is it?

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: Well, that’s a comfort.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Maybe we could drag leaves behind us when we walk.  To cover our footprints in the snow.

Peter: It isn’t snowing.

Scampi: I know.  Don’t you think I know that?

Peter: I am unsure.

Scampi: Oh ye of little faith.

Peter: Are you addressing me?

Scampi: Apparently.

Peter: I cannot recall when last it snowed.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I can.

Peter: Oh?  And when was it?

Scampi: I’m sure we’d all like to know that.  Ho.  Ha ha.

Peter: And?

Scampi: It snowed in the wintertime.  Winter is for snowing.

Peter: Thank you.  That was terribly informative.

Scampi: Big, fat flakes.  All over your face, and the windows.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: We wandered into the woods, and were not found.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: We hid the evidence as we went.

Peter: I do not remember this occasion.

Scampi: It was a secret.

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.