pt 58: PANACEA

Scampi: Peter?  Peter!

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: Jeez.  Louise.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Oh nothing.

Peter: What?  What was that?

Scampi: I’ll wait ‘til it’s done.

Peter: Sorry?

Scampi: [WAITS.]

Peter: Ah, that’s better.

Scampi: Well, yes and no.

Peter: Only I couldn’t hear you, you see.

Scampi: I see.

Peter: Above all that cello.

Scampi: It was a sight to be seen.

Peter: Pum pum.  Pum-pa-pum.

Scampi: Yes yes.  The virtuosity cannot be denied.

Peter: I have no wish to deny it.

Scampi: Nor do I.  I embrace the virtuosity of your cellist.

Peter: Thank you.

Scampi: A four-string miracle.  Angels in the snowbanks.  Et cetera.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: I’m all nerves.

Peter: I won’t offer to make a fresh pot, then?

Scampi: Oh won’t you?

Peter: What?

Scampi: Nothing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Nothing!

Peter: Have you quite taken leave of your senses?

Scampi: Yeah, yeah.

Peter: Inside voices.

Scampi: Are concealed their venomous intent.

Peter: Pardon me?

PAUSE.

Peter: Uh, it seems to me—

Scampi: Don’t start.

Peter: Could I finish?

Scampi: Look, I’ll be better.

Peter: Would you like to stretch your legs?

Scampi: I’ve never heard you say that before.

Peter: I’m trying new things.

Scampi: I see.  So you want to go for a stroll?

Peter: Well, it’s a possibility.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: One of myriad possibilities, really.

Scampi: There are an astounding number of options.

Peter: There are.

Scampi: I suppose it would be hackneyed to discuss paralysis at this juncture.

Peter: Rather.

BIRDS PERFORM EXOTIC DANCES ON THE PORCH, BY THE WINDOW.

Scampi: Are they like, cold?  Do you think?

Peter: Who?

Scampi: You know, the birds.

Peter: Noooo.  I don’t think so.

Scampi: Oh.  Okay.

Peter: Anthropomorphising our animal friends is rarely a wise idea.

Scampi: I already knew that.

Peter: Good.

Scampi: You should get a birdbath.

Peter: I will consider it.

Scampi: In this same vein, if you will,

Peter: Oh really?

Scampi: Do you accept the like, premise, that under the snow the earth and all it’s earth-type stuff is sleeping?

Peter: Is that really a premise?

Scampi: It’s like one, anyway.  Is the earth asleep?

Peter: Figuratively?

Scampi: However you like.

Peter: Well, I wouldn’t put it that way.

Scampi: No.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Would you say that I am asleep?  Underneath the snow?

Peter: When?

Scampi: Now!  Now, Peter.

Peter: I would say that you are not.  I would say that you are neither.

Scampi: Figuratively?

Peter: You are pecking at my literal bones.

Scampi: Your painter’s loose.  You’re adrift in the damp seas.

Peter: An act of vandalism I do not appreciate.

Scampi: Surely I can see this.  Surely I should return this conversation to dry land.  Where you have cell phone reception.  Where dust gathers on your eyeglasses.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: You want to talk about sports teams?

Peter: Never.

Scampi: I know.  Thus we are stuck with the metaphorical balletdance.

Peter: I refuse to accept your axiom.

Scampi: [Curtsies.]

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: Shall we?

Peter: Shall we what?

Scampi: Waltz.

Peter: I will do no such thing.

Scampi: Too late.

Peter: [Drowned out by cello.]

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pt 78: THE IONIZED TWO-STEP

Scampi: The wind, it blows.

Peter: Hm?

Scampi: What direction is the wind coming from?

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Don’t you know?

Peter: Of course I know.

Scampi: Well then?

Peter: Well.  That way.

Scampi: [ROLLS EYES.]

PAUSE.

Scampi: I can tell you something.

Peter: Likely.

Scampi: Peter?  Would you like to know what it is?

Peter: Do I have a choice?

Scampi: The wind is blowing over the rooftops.  The wind is rattling the branches.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: But what about me?

Peter: You are not doing either of these things.

Scampi: I am being buffeted about by the wind.  Paff boff.

Peter: You look rather stationary at present.

Scampi: That’s exactly the sort of thing you would think.

Peter: I do not deny it.

Scampi: That’s exactly the sort of thing you would say.

Peter: It is.

Scampi: Do you know how to waltz?

Peter: No.  Not exactly.

Scampi: Do you know how to waltz imprecisely?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: Like, just approximately?

Peter: Possibly.

Scampi: What’s that mean?  You can waltz in two four time?

Peter: Where is this avenue of inquiry leading?

Scampi: It’s leading the waltz.  That you are incapable of leading yourself.  Apparently.

Peter: I see.  I am being browbeaten over the issue of ballroom dance techniques.

Scampi: You wish.

Peter: I certainly do not.  I do not wish to be browbeaten.

Scampi: Well then.  Don’t be.

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: I’m lost.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You see?  Are you lost?

Peter: No.  Yes.

PETER GROWS FLUSTERED, AS A COCKATOO.

Scampi: The wind is blowing from over there.  Do we point our nose into the wind?  Do you think?  Do we keep the wind at our back?

Peter: What is this ‘we’?

Scampi: You’re lost.  I’m lost.  We’re trying to get unlost.  Aren’t we?

Peter: Perhaps.

Scampi: I mean, what else are we supposed to do?  Do you want some lunch?

Peter: I do.

Scampi: Oh.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I was in the country.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Recently.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: The country.  Bucolic.

Scampi: Rather.  Theoretically.

Peter: We have all been known to take a bucolic sojourn.

Scampi: We have.  There were likely many species.

Peter: Of?

Scampi: Birds.  Or whatever.

Peter: Birds?

Scampi: I guess.

PAUSE.

Scampi: There’s something missing.

Peter: From what?

Scampi: Or maybe something extra.

Peter: Which is it?

Scampi: The time signature would clarify this point.

Peter: Are we speaking of musical notation?

Scampi: Maybe.

PAUSE.

Scampi: If we are lopsided, top-heavy.  If we are empty.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Does it make a difference?

Peter: How do you mean?

Scampi: The negative charge, the positive charge.

Peter: Are you speaking of isotopes?

Scampi: I am speaking of equilibrium.

PETER SHUDDERS.

Scampi: Precisely.  I don’t know if it matters to which side Pisa is leaning.

Peter: It would perhaps matter to the gentleman underneath it.

Scampi: But the tower itself.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: It’s falling.