pt 104: STOUT

Peter: Are you suggesting I lack nous?

Scampi: What a vocabulary!

Peter: I am very sensitive about my vocabulary.

Scampi: I know you are, Peter.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: You enjoy meats and cheeses.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: Don’t you?

PAUSE.

Scampi: Of course you do.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: You like to eat pork.  The flesh of pigs.

Peter: Correct.

Scampi: Why do you think that is?

Peter: It is delicious.

Scampi: Beware of subjective truths!

Peter: Me?

Scampi: The epistemological pot calling the linguistical kettle black?  Is that what you’re saying?

Peter: Yes.

PAUSE.

Peter: That doesn’t make any sense.

Scampi: How did you understand it, then?

Peter: Did I?

Scampi: You did.  You assented.

Peter: I did.

Scampi: Are you having a crisis of faith?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Are you sure?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I am not a man of the cloth.

Scampi: I suppose not.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Are you having a crisis of faith?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Yes, I would say that you lack a modicum of nous.  I would.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Yes.  It is quite apparent.

Peter: You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

Scampi: I hadn’t noticed that.  Says who?

Peter: A nice, clear day.  Clear skies.

Scampi: I remarked on that already.  I already pointed it out.

Peter: When?

Scampi: I did.  You were sleeping, like Rapunzel.

Peter: I wasn’t sleeping.

Scampi: Neither was Rapunzel.  Technically.

Peter: I am not blonde.

Scampi: I am not a spinach farmer.  So what?

Peter: There is no need to be so argumentative.

Scampi: Really?  Who told you that?

Peter: I have spoken.

Scampi: Yes, you have.  Do you want a new shirt?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: I have shirts.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Cotton shirts are very popular amongst men of your generation.

Peter: What generation?

Scampi: Well, that is the question.  That’s what I’m saying.

Peter: Pardon me, but I find it exceedingly difficult to keep track of what it is that you are saying.  From one day to the next, if you will.

Scampi: I won’t!

Peter: How juvenile.

Scampi: No pasarán!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Ah ha!  You don’t even know what that means!

Peter: Knowing what a word means, and knowing what you mean by it are two rather different things.

Scampi: But of course!  A whole new kettle of fish!

Peter: Would it be possible for you to modulate your voice?

Scampi: In what sense?

Peter: Lower it.

Scampi: Oh ho.  Hello, children, and welcome to the imperative.

Peter: There are many tasks to be accomplished.

Scampi: Yes, of course.  Let us preserve the Anglo-Saxon hegemony.  Et cetera.  [YAWNS THEATRICALLY]

Peter: What are you suggesting about me?

Scampi: ‘Scusi?

Peter: I feel that you are making inferences and allusions.  Offensive ones.

Scampi: You would.

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Want to make some prank calls?

Peter: No.

Scampi: What?  Really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Yes, you do want to make prank calls?

Peter: No.

Scampi: No what?

Peter: No, I do not.

Scampi: Oh.  Have you ever met a man whose woman you didn’t like?

Peter: Woman?

Scampi: Yes.  Those creatures you feign disinterest in.

Peter: I am not sure what is being asked of me.

Scampi: Wherein lies the disingenuous germ of your existential crisis.

Peter: This is very rude.

Scampi: No, no.  That’s not the intent at all.  I’m simply asking a question.

Peter: Of course.  You have a tendency to do this.

Scampi: I do not.  Anyhow, you were right about the weather.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: It’s a beautiful day.  It really is.

Peter: [SIGHS.]  Yes.

Scampi: Do you believe there will be others?

Peter: Other whats?

Scampi: Days like this.

Peter: I am not a meteorologist.

Scampi: No.  I suppose you aren’t.

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: But the light today.  It’s just so pretty.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: Perhaps there will be light like this tomorrow.

Peter: It is a possibility.

Scampi: [bitterly] Yes.

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pt 66: SKILSAW, BIRDSONG

Scampi: The days are growing longer now, Peter.

Peter: Indeed they are.

Scampi: I’ve noticed this isn’t doing much for you.

Peter: What’s that supposed to mean?

Scampi: Well, the light, you know, the longer-lit days. It isn’t doing much for your outlook.

Peter: Why should it?

Scampi: Why shouldn’t it?

Peter: I refuse to engage in this childish match of table tennis.

Scampi: You would.

Peter: There’s a hole in my trousers.

Scampi: It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Peter: It has.

Scampi: That looks mendable. No fear, Peter: help is on the way.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Sure. What’s that high, buzzing noise?

Peter: What?

Scampi: Can’t you hear it?

Peter: No. I cannot.

Scampi: You can’t hear that?

Peter: I told you so.

Scampi: Well, I can. It’s very frustrating.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Ugh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Ah, there. It’s stopped.

Peter: Congratulations.

Scampi: How come I could hear it and you couldn’t?

Peter: Perhaps this has to do with our temporal locations.

Scampi: Huh?

Peter: I’m suggesting.

Scampi: Because I’m ten hours and fifteen minutes away from you, you mean?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I don’t see why that has to get in the way.

Peter: [SIGHS.] Okay.

Scampi: Do you see what I see?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: A star, a star!

Peter: I don’t see it.

Scampi: Shining in the night, with a tail as big as a kite!

Peter: Oh god.

Scampi: Precisely. Bam BA bam BA, da da da da DA, da da DA bam BA bam bam BA!

Peter: Aahh.

Scampi: [humming happily] Do you know what I know?

Peter: I can’t even imagine.

Scampi: Oh, Peter. What a burden.

Peter: [tightly] I assure you, I am in perfect spirits.

Scampi: Perfection without imagination? Where’s the spirit there?

Peter: You misconstrue.

Scampi: I do. You misrepresent.

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: I like the song, but I don’t like the volume.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: That’s right. The noise of the music is cluttering the music itself.

Peter: What music?

Scampi: The music in my ear.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: You see?

Peter: I really don’t know what I’m supposed to say to that.

Scampi: I’m sure you’ll think of something. Eventually.

Peter: I am so tired.

Scampi: I know you are, Peter. I’m tired, too.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: We could have some coffee.

Peter: Maybe later.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: I have always loved the view from this window.

Scampi: The light is clear.

Peter: Clearly what?

Scampi: See-through. You can see all the way down to the water.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Feel free to sit a while.

Peter: Thank you. I shall.

pt 138: MA DOULEUR

Peter: Calm yourself.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Really.

Scampi: Who said I wasn’t calm?

Peter: You just did.

Scampi: Did not.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I know you’ve often had occasion to ignore the works of Paul Éluard.

Peter: Who?

Scampi: Precisely.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: We see a vision of ourselves in a glacial lake.

Peter: We do?

Scampi: Maybe.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Why not? The sun in the frozen water.

Peter: Ice?

Scampi: No. Water that is cold.  Frozen water.

Peter: Freezing water?

Scampi: Stop picking on me.  Jesus.

Peter: I am not picking on you.

Scampi: Oh, you feel the weight o’ the world, don’t ya?

Peter: That seems an excessive description.

Scampi: Impossible! Such insolence.

Peter: Naturally, no one would consider your illuminating ruminations to be insolent.

Scampi: Naturally. The pain of the world bounces back at us from the water. In the shape of sunlight.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Yes. The glacial lake.

Peter: What’s all this about a lake?

Scampi: I dunno.  What do you have against lakes?

Peter: Nothing.

Scampi: Imagine, if you will.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: You are standing on the shore.

Peter: I am?

Scampi: You are. The sun is on the water. The water is primordially frosty.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: You watch the light reflect off the water and your heart is full and also empty.  And the water is frozen and on fire.

Peter: Is this a metaphor?

Scampi: Stop that.

Peter: What?

Scampi: “Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,/And left the vivid air signed with their honor.”

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Spender. Stephen.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: What are you doing this afternoon?

Peter: I have no fixed arrangements, per se.

Scampi: Want to go sign the vivid air with our honour?

Peter: Well, perhaps.

Scampi: Great!

Peter: What will this entail?

Scampi: Oh, you know. It’ll be fun.

Peter: Perhaps I should change my coat.

Scampi: Formal wear is not required.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: We can go down to the water.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We can even remove our shoes.

Peter: Anything is possible.

Scampi: That’s correct.

pt 83: PINFEATHERS

Scampi: Calm down, Peter.

 

Peter: Insufferable.

 

Scampi: There you go again.

 

Peter: Go?  Me?

 

Scampi: Ha!  Caught in the act!

 

Peter: [registers disdain]

 

Scampi: Grouchiness incarnate.  Stop the presses, baby!  We’ve got a new front page!

 

Peter: Nonsense.

 

Scampi: Correct.  Non-sense.  I am taking the nonsensical approach to mood resurrection therapy.

 

Peter: Stop talking.

 

Scampi: Never!

 

Peter: [grimaces]

 

Scampi: The look on your face.  Stupendous.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: So anyway.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I am watching conifers gesticulate in the sunshine.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What do you think about that?

 

Peter: Pompadours?  What?

 

Scampi: They are not deciduous.

 

Peter: What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: It was a hint.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: The fauna.  Is it breaking your heart?

 

Peter: What?

 

Scampi: The wildlife.  The creatures.

 

Peter: Comprehension level currently ranking at zero.

 

Scampi: Lost in the woods.  Your fellow creatures breaking your heart.

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: In two.

 

Peter: Is this educational?

 

Scampi: Yes.  Science is the way of the future.  We study the natural world.  We learn to survive.  Et cetera.

 

Peter: I see.

 

Scampi: The study of owls, the study of brokenness.

 

Peter: Pardon?

 

Scampi: You see what I’m driving at here, naturally.

 

Peter: [acidly]  Oh, naturally.

 

Scampi: Right.  Can we stop for lunch?

 

Peter: Stop what?

 

Scampi: Whatever it is we’re doing.

 

PETER SPUTTERS.

 

Scampi: I’ll take that as a yes.  Tunafish?

 

Peter: Thank you.

 

Scampi: You’re welcome.

 

Peter: Where did you say we were?

 

Scampi: That’s really not the question.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: [grandly]  Yes.

 

Peter: What is the question?  If I may ask.

 

Scampi: Hahahahahha.  Ho.

 

Peter: I wasn’t joking.

 

Scampi: I know.

pt 64: ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Scampi: There will be no discussion of the sky today.

Peter: What mood is this?

Scampi: Mood? What mood?

Peter: That’s what I said.

Scampi: I was simply trying to steer the conversation away.

Peter: From what?

Scampi: Why are you harping on this? Let’s talk about something else.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I would accept a cup of coffee at any interval here.

Peter: I see. Would you like some coffee?

Scampi: In fact, I would.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You are very kind.

Peter: I do my best, as you know.

Scampi: I know.

Peter: It is certainly a beautiful day.

Scampi: It is, it is. God.

Peter: What?

Scampi: My head, my head.

Peter: What about your head?

Scampi: I don’t know.

Peter: What are you looking for?

Scampi: Lumps and bumps.

Peter: Goodness. Were you in a scrap?

Scampi: Ha! In a scrap! You quaint little teakettle.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Oh, Peter.

Peter: I was only asking—

Scampi: Yes, yes. All I’m saying is, maybe my head hurts.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: And maybe it doesn’t. There’s no way of knowing, really.

Peter: [MURMURS.]

Scampi: Now, don’t make those doubtful noises. You may as well leap into the void.

Peter: The void?

Scampi: I may as well. Ha, ha. Leap in. Ha. Har.

Peter: Are you quite sane at the moment?

Scampi: Oohh, getting all into the skill-testing questions, are we? Suave, suave.

Peter: This is very frustrating.

Scampi: What is?

Peter: Speaking with you.

Scampi: Oh, is that what you’re doing?

Peter: I am.

Scampi: Who knew?

Peter: You see?

Scampi: I do. You dislike my speaking voice.

Peter: That’s not what I—

Scampi: Very well. PERHAPS I SHOULD BELLOW, EN LETTRES MAJUSCULES?

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: HOW DOES THAT SUIT YOU?

Peter: Stop it.

Scampi: Oh fine.

Peter: That was very unpleasant.

Scampi: Spoilsport.

Peter: Pardon? Pardon me?

Scampi: You are pardoned. By the way, I like how these ribbons of light come in the window. It’s very nice. Genteel.

Peter: Where?

Scampi: Right here. There’s one on the end of your nose, presently.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: Do you remember that one time? When we were walking down the road?

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: And you said something funny and I laughed? Or, I said something funny and you laughed?

Peter: That sounds accurate.

Scampi: A good time was had by all.

Peter: I can imagine.

Scampi: No one’s asking you to imagine. Do you remember it?

Peter: It sounds familiar.

Scampi: It was.