pt 109: HEARTBEATS

Scampi: Did I tell you about the other time I fell in love?

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: What a thing to say.

Peter:

Scampi: Well, can you imagine?

Peter: Ho hum.

Scampi: So it’s like this.

Peter: Are you upset about something?

Scampi: No.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: That’s right.

SCAMPI YAWNS.  PETER YAWNS.

Scampi: I would like to talk about humanism.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Desiderius Erasmus.  Eh?  This means something to you?

Peter: I am familiar with the name.

Scampi: Ho ho.

Peter: I know who Erasmus is.

Scampi: Oh, I don’t doubt it.  Not for a second!

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I don’t know anything about him.  It’s all very tragical.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: These Reformation types and their crazy ways.  I want no part of it!

Peter: Has someone been inviting you to take part in the Reformation?

Scampi: Ridiculous.  Peter, you are simply nuts.

Peter: [offended]

Scampi: Well, there’s no need to take offence.

Peter: You have just accused me of being nuts.

Scampi: Impossible!  I simply want some tea.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Do you want some tea?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: Oh, please, do take your time.  I am a tea-making factory, here for your convenience.

PETER TURNS THE PAGE OF HIS MAGAZINE WITH PRECISION.

Scampi: You little Gatling gun, you.

Peter: Are you speaking to me?

Scampi: No.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You wouldn’t have guessed this about me.

Peter: Guessed what?

Scampi: Precisely!  No one would have guessed.

Peter: I am not fond of guessing.

Scampi: No, you aren’t.

PAUSE.

Scampi: It’s not impossible to imagine, however, that I would have spent four days of my life sleeping through the night, for example.

Peter: A contradiction in terms?

Scampi: Please do not be such an asshole, Peter.

PAUSE, IN WHICH PETER’S SEETHING CAN BE PRESUMED, IF NOT PROVEN.

Peter: Would you not say ‘proved’, rather?

Scampi: Mind your own business!  God.

Peter: Deus.

Scampi: Out of the machine!

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: It could have been four days.  It could have been six nights.

Peter: Of sleeping?

Scampi: Of perfection.

Peter: Ah, perfection.

Scampi: I don’t appreciate your sneering.

Peter: I?  Sneering?

Scampi: Your mouth is full of melted butter.

Peter: [with difficulty] It is not.

Scampi: If I had known, I would’ve made popcorn.  Anyway, we can make room in our lives for our humanist friends, of course.

Peter: Ah yes, our humanist friends.

Scampi: Not to mention our four-legged brethren.

Peter: Yes, such as cats.  Do cats like to eat catnip?

Scampi: No.  It causes them to vomit.

Peter: Really?

Scampi: Of course.

Peter: I am suspicious of this information.

Scampi: Well, that says plenty about you.  But nothing about catnip.

Peter: I –

Scampi: Your mastery of the first-person pronoun has been recorded.  Now, what was I saying?

Peter: It is impossible to determine.

Scampi: One day you might wake up in the morning to an appropriately-coloured sky.  There is a human creature sleeping next to you.

Peter: This is hardly controversial.

Scampi: Exactly.

Peter: You have a problem with the colour of the sky?

Scampi: I do not.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Another morning, you do not wake up at all.  You sleep until dusk.

Peter: [nervously] Oh, the lifestyle of the common layabed.

Scampi: Are you nervous about something?

Peter: [nervously] No.

Scampi: Because you seem nervous.

Peter: Stop interfering with my delivery.  I am entirely lacking in nerves.

Scampi: Have I hit a nerve?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: In either case, you are both of them, the happy early riser, and the lonely evening layabed.  Both of them at once.

Peter: Where is this going?

Scampi: Nowhere.  You get out of bed, you don’t get out of bed.  Doesn’t matter.

Peter: I see.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You know what happened to me yesterday?

Peter: You got out of bed and fell in love?

Scampi: No.  In the afternoon I heard the sound of birds and went outside.

Peter: A daring tangent.

Scampi: I looked up into the tree, it was all green leaves.  I could hear the birds everywhere, you know, like a chipmunk farm.

Peter: Ahem.  Our winged neighbours are sometimes rather loud.

Scampi: Yes.  But I couldn’t see them.

Peter: Because of the leaves?

Scampi: I don’t know.  I couldn’t see a single one.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: That’s what happened to me yesterday.

Peter: Did anything else happen?

Scampi: Not really, no.

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pt 95: _______

Scampi: Good to see you.

Peter: I realise you like to keep a diary.

Scampi: I don’t.

Peter: Well, whatever you like to call it.

Scampi: What?

Peter: I did not realise this was such a sensitive subject for you.

Scampi: I have no idea what you’re on about.  But, what do you think?

Peter: Of inaccurate records?

Scampi: No: Eugene?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: Do you think Onegin really meant to kill Lensky?

Peter: I do not follow that sort of thing.

Scampi: That’s ridiculous.

PAUSE.

Scampi: He can’t really have wanted to.  But then why did he do it?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: Clearly.

Peter: Well, it’s nice to see you, too.

Scampi: We see each other all the time.  So what?

Peter: I feel that this is not the case, in fact.

Scampi: Stop bickering.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Some people [astronomers] felt that it was divine, being able to foretell the motions of the planets.  The heavens.

Peter: Divine?  You mean in the Middle Ages?

Scampi: L’Âge des ténèbres!

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Maybe I’m talking about the Reformation.

Peter: Perhaps you are.

Scampi: After the days of darkness.  The days of light!

Peter: The Enlightenment?

Scampi: I’m not saying we have to dwell on history or anything.  Around here.

Peter: What are you saying?

Scampi: I said it already.  I distinctly mentioned astronomy.

Peter: I didn’t hear you.

Scampi: Humph.  Do you know what a contrarian is?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: No you don’t.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: A contrarian is someone who buys stocks.

Peter: I believe the term for that individual would be “stockbroker”.

Scampi: Hilarious.  Someone who buys stocks when others are selling and sells when others are buying.

Peter: Where did you find this information?

Scampi: Why?  Are you jealous?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Well, there you have it.

Peter: That is not an answer.

Scampi: Not for King Herod, anyway.

Peter: Are you suggesting that I am a fop?

Scampi: No.  Impossible.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I just think it’s fun when we learn new words.

Peter: Education is important.

Scampi: And no one knows this better than you!  Har har.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I can’t go on.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: I said,

Peter: You look tired.

Scampi: Hardly.

Peter: Slightly.

Scampi: One brick on top of the other.  This is how you build a house.

Peter: I thought we discussed the finer points of architecture previous to this juncture.

Scampi: I thought there was no architecture previous to this juncture.

Peter: How so?

Scampi: What a delightful fresco!

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I’m being a lady in Italy.  Looking at the buildings.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: That’s right.  We could go to Italy.

Peter: It is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Scampi: What did you say?  I know what you said.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Well, let’s go!

Peter: Ah, there are a few complications, of course.

Scampi: We can work as deckhands, on a steamer.  We can work in a café, on the Arno.

Peter: The plausibility.

Scampi: Yes?

Peter: It seems a stretch.

PAUSE.

Peter: I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to upset you.

Scampi: Does it matter if you mean to?

Peter: It does, I believe.

Scampi: And then Tatyana was married.  She rebuffed his advances.

Peter: Is this another Russian literature reference?

Scampi: Time is moving, Peter.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: It’s like a river.  Even if we just sit there, it moves us along.

Peter: I suppose this depends on the river in question.

Scampi: It’s a deep one.

Peter: Well.

Scampi: That, too.