pt 137: THE MAN WITH TWO UMBRELLAS, PART II

Scampi: Remember when we saw that man with two umbrellas?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: And we were like, Why does he have two umbrellas? It’s not even raining.

Peter: Why did he have two umbrellas?

Scampi: Maybe he was carrying an umbrella to his wife.

Peter: What a gentleman.

Scampi: That’s right.

PAUSE.

Scampi: His wife was at home in the gazebo with no umbrellas, waiting.

Peter: I suppose that is a possibility.

Scampi: Why not?

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: I suppose it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.  Does it?

Peter: Doubtless, there are more painful trials to be withstood than carrying an extra umbrella.

Scampi: I’ll say.

Peter: That was a good day.

Scampi: Why do you say that?

Peter: I do not know. Making conversation?

Scampi: Humph.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Remember how I thought perhaps he was carrying his extra umbrella to his former self in case it rained on them both in the future?

Peter: That does sound familiar.  I suppose.

Scampi: Yes. We arm ourselves against the future.  We arm ourselves in solidarity with the past, even as we poke it with the sharp butts of our umbrellas.

Peter: We do?

Scampi: We do.  We have like, seventeen umbrellas.  Jesus Christ.  We’re like a goddam umbrella emporium around here.

Peter: You seem agitated.

Scampi: Oh ho! I wonder what’s giving you that idea!

Peter: Well,

Scampi: The notions you entertain, my friend.  Positively outlandish.

Peter: Well, you do seem a trifle – vigorous.

Scampi: Join the living, Peter.  We are a vigorous tribe.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Don’t look so put off.  You adore the filthy universe.

Peter: Please do not speak of the universe in this way.

Scampi: You love it.

Peter: I confess, I do.

Scampi: Good.  Good.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Imagine.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Two hundred years from now, or something, some lady’s waiting for you in the gazebo.  Waiting for some raingear to greet the day.

Peter: This is some sort of whimsical temporal jaunt, I take it?

Scampi: You certainly do. Throw an extra anorak in your satchel and embrace the future!

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: Is your throat sore?

Peter: Not quite.

Scampi: Excellent.  We should carry extra lunches.

Peter: Are we carrying any lunches?

Scampi: We might be.  Who doesn’t like lunch?

Peter: Late risers, perhaps.

Scampi: No, no.  Late risers simply prefer late lunches.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: We will carry extra lunches for our future selves.  And extra socks.  And extra brains!

Peter: I am not following this tangent.

Scampi: It’s not a tangent.  It’s a sidestep.

PETER SIGHS.

Scampi: Have you had too much sun?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Are you sure?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I think you’ve had too much sun.

Peter: Good for you.

Scampi: Thank you.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Would you like this parasol?

Peter: [alarmed] Where did you get that?

Scampi: [SHRUGS.]

Peter: I suppose a little shade would not go amiss.

Scampi: Go on.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: Any time.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: You heard me.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Let’s just sit for a while.

Peter: If you insist.

Scampi: The pond is so still.

Peter: Pond!

Scampi: It’s right in front of you.

Peter: Yes.  It is.

Scampi: Look at the surface.  Glassy.

Peter: I didn’t know there was a pond here.

Scampi: There is.

Peter: [drawls] Lovely afternoon.

Scampi: Rather.

Peter: Shall we stay here a while, do you think?

Scampi: Certainly.  Just until yesterday.

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pt 92 ½: METEORS

Scampi: But I get the feeling it is.  See?

Peter: I am absently thinking to myself.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I said nothing.

Scampi: Who said that then?

Peter: I don’t know.

Scampi: You are absently thinking to yourself.  I can tell.

Peter: Well, well.

Scampi: Change is in the air.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: But what does it mean?  What does it mean?

Peter: You have had the occasion to repeat yourself excessively of late.

Scampi: So what?

Peter: A prime example.

Scampi: There you go again.  Obsessed with primacy.

Peter: This is untrue.

Scampi: And why should I take your word for it?

Peter: Because I’m right.

Scampi: Oh, sure.  The primate, that’s you.

Peter: We are all primates, of a sort.

Scampi: An orangutan in a fancy hat.  Some aspiration.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: The clouds are tumbling in.  Like mats in a gymnasium.

Peter: The weather, I might point out, is not our fault.

Scampi: Heresy!

Peter: Meteorology.

Scampi: If the elements can turn, we can turn.

Peter: Around?

Scampi: Into something else.  We can become something new.

Peter: Are you suggesting we ought to be shiftier?

Scampi: I’m not suggesting anything.  Not a thing.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Something new can be constructed.  Up from the ground.

Peter: As long as the appropriate architectural plans have been drawn up beforehand, of course.

Scampi: Oh, of course.

Peter: What is the cause of this bitterness?

Scampi: What bitterness?

Peter: You object to architecture?  Or to plans?

Scampi: What a question!  What questions!

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I just want us to be ready.

Peter: For what?

Scampi: Precisely.