pt 107: SPRUCE GUM AND FEATHERED HATS

Scampi: Well, Peter, here we are.

Peter: There is cause for much rejoicing.

Scampi: What?

Peter: We are all men of valour!

Scampi: Feeling a bit peppy today, I see.

Peter: Ah.  The air is brisk.

Scampi: What’s so great about that?

Peter: What IS so great?  Greatness is something we all aspire to.

Scampi: I have no idea what’s gotten into you.

Peter: But let us be serious.

Scampi: The dogstar.

Peter: Yes.  Let us be Cerebus.

Scampi: You are your classics.  Way to live in the world.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: I wish the jukebox would play my favourite song.

Peter: There is a solution to your longing.

Scampi: Two bits.  It’s all I need.

Dandee: [Hums] “All I need is the air that I breathe, and to loove you.”

Scampi: Bah BAH!

Peter: You want to hear a song, play a song.  I will not prevent you.

Scampi: Of course you won’t.

Peter: Why so glum?

Scampi: Don’t take that tone with me.

Peter: What tone?

Scampi: That patsying tone.

Peter: I am not taking a tone.  I assure you.

Scampi: Oh, right.  Right.

Peter: What?  You think that I am condescending to you?  My little friend?

Scampi: So funny.  You’re a regular comedian today.

Peter: I am Pierrot.

Scampi: Was that the sad clown?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: Sure you don’t.  And I’m Scaramuccia.  And we all go to hell in a handbasket.

Peter: A much-talked about mode of transportation to the netherworld.

Scampi: Please keep all your limbs inside for the duration of the ride.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: Any time.  Enjoy your stay at the carnival!

Peter: Ah.  The carnival.

Scampi: The midway!  The ferris wheel antics!

PETER REFLECTS ON THESE IMPORTANT FACTS.

Scampi: Let’s get tickets for the ferris wheel, Peter.  From its zenith, we could see the whole city I bet.

Peter: We could likely see a portion of it.

Scampi: A portion of sky.  It’s a start.

Peter: Perhaps.  If you insist.

Scampi: I do.

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pt 62: LET US BE TRUE

Scampi: Peter.

Peter: ‘Tis I.

Scampi: You know what Dan said?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: [READS ALOUD.]

PAUSE.

Scampi: Can you imagine!  He said for me to mention this to you.

Peter: I believe Matthew Arnold said that.

Scampi: Ridiculous.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Matthew Arnold has never asked me to mention anything.  To you or anyone else.

Peter: That quote.

Scampi: Oh.  Matthew Arnold wrote it, maybe.

Peter: There isn’t much maybe about it.

Scampi: Humph.

Peter: So, this is some sort of classical bullshit fest?

Scampi: Peter, how could you?

Peter: How could I what?

Scampi: But it’s so pretty.

Peter: We are all pretty.

Scampi: Well, well.  Mr Cocksure.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I can feel the sandy beach.  I can see the cliffs!

Peter: You can do a lot of things, it seems.

Scampi: Yeah, sure.  I can lick an icecreamcone if I’d of bought one last summer on the side of the highway.

Peter: Tense disagreement.

Scampi: That’s no lie.

Peter: Pardon me?

Scampi: Perhaps.  In time.  Hum.  Do you think Matthew Arnold accepts fan letters?

Peter: Are you having some massive hemorrhage that’s affecting your grasp of chronology?

Scampi: Says you.  Maybe I’m a mystic.

Peter: [hisses like an alkaline battery.]

Scampi: If I may say, your own existence is highly implausible.  Before you start twittering baroque minuets in my ear.

Peter: Before I what?

Scampi: It’s true, I’m not a mystic.  But the point is, I could be.  And you’d just be sitting there buzzing like a giant calculator.  Taking up a New York block with your messianic algorithms.

Peter: I would do no such thing.

Scampi: Don’t bet on it, mister.

Peter: I am not a betting man.

Scampi: That’s none of my business.  Save it for Blaise Pascal.

THUNDER.

Scampi: Woah.

PAUSE.

Scampi [whispering]: I’m just going to make some tea.

Peter: Whilst I shall glower to myself for full five minutes.

Scampi: And may I compliment you on your choice of ties?

Peter: [sighs] You may.

Scampi: Thank you.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: We can see each other.  Can’t we?

Peter: Can we not?  Why wouldn’t we?

Scampi: If we had fully descended into darkness, would we think we could see each other?  When we couldn’t?

Peter: If it was dark enough, I don’t see how we could see anything.  We are not, ahem, bats.

Scampi: Maybe you aren’t.

Peter: Are you a bat?

Scampi: Why don’t you bounce some sound waves off me and find out?

Peter: I decline.

Scampi: Like a verb.  Sans action.  Oh, hum.  The tea is ready!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Here you are.

Peter: What were you laughing at?

Scampi: When?

Peter: What were you laughing at just now?

Scampi: I was just getting us some tea.  This is not a crime.

Peter: It is not.

Scampi:  Agreed.  A just conclusion, to be sure.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: I wonder if my memory of you would outlast you yourself.  Or the greyscale in the air between us.

Peter: I don’t know what that means.

Scampi: I do.

Peter: I have my doubts.

Scampi: Yes.  You parade them daily.

Peter: Excuse me.

Scampi: Explain yourself first.

Peter: There’s nothing to explain.

Scampi: Then there is nothing to excuse.

PAUSE.

Scampi: If you were an idea of mine, glowing in my head, you know, glittering like freezing rain or that type of thing.

Peter: If.

Scampi: Would you be bright enough to light your own way?

Peter: You’ve lost me.

Scampi: But in the leftover shine you could find your way back.

Peter: That’s not the sort of thing I understand.

Scampi: Yeah yeah.

Peter: In fact, I don’t think that’s the sort of thing anyone understands.

Scampi: Sour grapes.

Peter: I can’t hear you.  You’re mumbling.

Scampi: Oops.

Peter: You know why no one understands that sort of thing?

Scampi: I’m not listening.

Peter: Because it doesn’t make any sense.  That’s why.

Scampi: You pause to make dents?  Is that what you said?

Peter: No.

Scampi: I guess I’m not the only one who mumbles!  Around here.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Hee hee.  You should see yourself right now.

Peter: No thanks.

Scampi: Your incisors look like they’re ready to pop out of your face.  Canus petursus.

Peter: Spurious Latin.

Scampi: Don’t talk about Latin that way.

Peter: You know very well what I meant.

Scampi: Maybe I do.  Maybe I don’t.

Peter: No need to look so pleased with yourself.

Scampi: Why’s that?  Do you find it maddening?

A GULL ALIGHTS ON A POCKET OF AIR JUST OUTSIDE THE WINDOW.

Scampi: Say what you want about it.

Peter: About what?

Scampi: Clocks.

Peter: I do maintain, they move clockwise.

Scampi: We are the noisy armies and the detritus they leave behind and the quiet before they arrived.  All at once.

Peter: We who?

Scampi: And we are a couple of swallows.  A couple of sideswiping crustacea on the beach, blinking crabbily back and forth.

Peter: No doubt we are all these things.

Scampi: And because you are glowing in the dark—

Peter: I am doing no such thing.

Scampi: Then what am I using to read?  A pocket flashlight?

Peter: A POCKET FLASHLIGHT?  What?

Scampi: Certainly not.  Calm yourself.

PETER SIMMERS.

Scampi: There’s no way I can see this far for nothing.

pt 56: BUILDINGS

Scampi: Peter?

Peter: That is my name.  How may I help you?

Scampi: Oh, I don’t know.  I’m just wondering some stuff.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I’m looking at this stunning view.

Peter: Are you?

Scampi: Well, I was two days ago.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: I was looking at this stunning view.  A crane in a construction pit.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: It was more than okay, boy.

Peter: If you say so.

Scampi: I do say so.  Don’t pretend you didn’t see the cumulus.  I know you did.  I have proof.

Peter: You’re right.  I saw the cumulus.

Scampi: I know you did.  Was that not the most beautiful thing?

Peter: It was very nice.

Scampi: It was freaking massive, my friend.

Peter: The clouds were large.

Scampi: The sky was the colour of a kindergartner’s coral necklace.  Come on, Peter.

Peter: What?

Scampi: Don’t what me.

Peter: Here.

Scampi: Oh, excellent.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Thanks for the coffee.

Peter: The pleasure is all mine.

Scampi: Okay.  So, to sum up, I was looking at the sky.

Peter: I have been getting that impression.

Scampi: It impressed itself upon me.

Peter: Quite.

Scampi: I will maybe remember that sky for the rest of my life.

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: What do you mean, perhaps?

Peter: It might blend itself in with other skies.  Possibly.

Scampi: Jesus.

PETER GENUFLECTS.

Scampi: Hee hee.

Peter: I did not genuflect.

Scampi: Sure, sure.

Peter: I don’t even know how.

Scampi: You heathen.

PAUSE.

Scampi: That sky was beautiful, and I’m in no mood to let it go.

Peter: You may have to, some day.

Scampi: I want it, though.  I want it forever.

Peter: There will be other skies.

Scampi: But only one forever.