pt 99: OUR ANIMAL NATURE

Scampi: I think I was dreaming.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Sometimes I can’t tell.  You know.

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I do not.

Scampi: But how do you know that you don’t?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I can’t tell if I’m dreaming or not.  Occasionally.

Peter: What are you suggesting?

Scampi: No need to get so nervous.  I’m just saying.

Peter: I am not nervous.

Scampi: Sure.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What do you dream about?

Peter: Peace and quiet.

Scampi: Very funny.  Can’t you remember your dreams?

Peter: I can.

Scampi: Well.  And what are they about?

Peter: This is very tedious.

Scampi: Isn’t.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I sometimes feel as if I inhabit a waking fog.

Peter: Perhaps you should have some coffee.

Scampi: That has nothing to do with it.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: I am like a monster of my own creation.  Half-asleep.

Peter: Perhaps you should keep such thoughts to yourself.

Scampi: What’s that supposed to mean?

Peter: Forgive me.  I have a headache.

Scampi: Oh.  Okay.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: Sorry.

Peter: It’s quite all right.

Scampi: Do you think we are in the dark?

Peter: That would certainly soothe this migraine.

Scampi: We’re in a cave, a bed of leaves.

Peter: Are you suggesting that we are hibernating?

Scampi: Like bears.

Peter: I am not a bear.

Scampi: We have collapsed from the exhaustion of open spaces.

Peter: I wouldn’t say “collapsed”.

Scampi: No, of course not.  You’d just do it.

Peter: I am a human man.

Scampi: An overdose of beauty can be a tricksy thing, Peter.  Beauty and possibilities.

Peter: Which causes you to transform into an apostate ursus experiencing a low degree of consciousness under a rock somewhere?

Scampi: Perhaps.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: There is the question of our animal nature.

Peter: We are bound by the flesh.

Scampi: I don’t know about you.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Oh, nothing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What good is the meadow if one’s mind remains a howling wilderness?

Peter: Do you feel that your mind is a howling wilderness?

Scampi: I feel that my memory of the meadow grows swampy.

Peter: Perhaps you are unwell.

Scampi: What a thing to say!

Peter: Lower your voice.

Scampi: I did.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: Maybe we should get some sleep.

Peter: We?

Scampi: I sleep, you sleep.

Peter: This is fundamentally illogical.

Scampi: Is not.  You might as well be sleeping.  If I’m asleep.

Peter: This is not the case.

Scampi: It might as well be.

Peter: SIGHS.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Can you hear the sound of running water?

Peter: A leaky faucet?

Scampi: I believe it is the sea.

Advertisements

pt 60: BEASTS

Scampi: Well, Peter.

 

Peter: Well.

 

Scampi: It seems to me.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Or, to look at it another way.

 

Peter: Hm?

 

Scampi: I’m just trying to appreciate all angles here.

 

Peter: Okay.

 

Scampi: However.

 

Peter: Indeed.

 

Scampi: I wasn’t finished.

 

Peter: Oh.

 

Scampi: Have you ever gone to Australia?

 

Peter: I have not.

 

Scampi: Oh. I knew that, actually.

 

Peter: Yes.

 

Scampi: How do you imagine it to be?

 

Peter: I don’t, really. I don’t think about Australia that much.

 

Scampi: And why would you?

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: But really the question is, why wouldn’t you? Eh?

 

Peter: Because it is not in my brain. There is no need.

 

Scampi: Maybe you need to learn a little more about your neighbours. Did you ever think of that?

 

Peter: What neighbours?

 

Scampi: On this earth. Your fellow men. Your humanoid compatriots.

 

Peter: Humanoid? Do you mean human?

 

Scampi: Don’t patronise me, mister. I know what I mean.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: And I’m not the only one. You know what I mean, too.

 

Peter: Oh really.

 

Scampi: Yes. Anyway, if we need to learn about Australia, we can jolly well learn about Australia.

 

Peter: If.

 

Scampi: That’s right. Besides, I bet you know a lot more about Australia than you let on.

 

Peter: How much are you betting?

 

Scampi: It’s an expression. It means, I am correct.

 

Peter: Hm.

 

Scampi: For example, in Australia, everyone walks around upside down. Did you know that?

 

Peter: Please.

 

Scampi: What? What?

 

Peter: Refrain from this prattle.

 

Scampi: Prattle? Pardon me?

 

Peter: You just said that in Australia people are walking around upside down.

 

Scampi: Perhaps I did. Perhaps they are.

 

Peter: SIGHS.

 

Scampi: The world is rife with strange beasts.

 

Peter: PICKS AT HIS TEETH.

 

Scampi: And perhaps we are the strangest beasts of all. Some of us anyway.

 

Peter: Are you talking about me?

 

Scampi: No. I am talking to you.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: Fungi floppily cushion the forest floor. Behind the trees, brown bears dip their magnificent paws in wild honey.

 

Peter: Is this a children’s tale?

 

Scampi: Is that what you think? Bears and mushrooms belong in fairytales?

 

Peter: Perhaps.

 

Scampi: Well, I think they belong in the world. We are all in the world.

 

Peter: Is this what passes for philosophy these days?

 

Scampi: Don’t start with me. Philosophy is welcome to take a long walk off a short pier.

 

PETER REMOVES HIS EYEGLASSES AND RUBS HIS EYES WITH ONE PALE, CRUMPLED PAW.

 

Scampi: I am sure you have no wish to deny the existence of bears, mulching leaves, mushrooms, and Australia.

 

Peter: The existence of them?

 

Scampi: That’s right. You do not deny it. Do you?

 

Peter: Uh. No.

 

Scampi: Precisely! That’s what I’m saying. We’re all in this together.

 

Peter: Well, now—

 

Scampi: Don’t well now me. We are all crunching and whispering across the forest floor. Going from here to there. Looking for a soft place to sleep.

 

Peter: Well yes.

 

Scampi: Of course. There could be a blanket of snow, there could be a blanket of leaves, there could be a blanket of fine alpaca fur.

 

Peter: One has to have dreams, I suppose.

 

Scampi: What?

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: What was that?

 

Peter: Uh.

 

Scampi: Dreams? Are you talking about dreams?

 

Peter: It was a just a.

 

Scampi: Do you have dreams? Is this what you’re saying?

 

Peter: I wasn’t really. Saying anything.

 

Scampi: Dreams. The finely silted dreams of Peter.

 

Peter: Silted? What are you talking about?

 

Scampi: I don’t know.

 

PAUSE.

 

PAUSE.

 

Scampi: I don’t know.