MUCH THUMPING ABOUT SUMPING
Sir Francis, their plumber
A Diapason-voiced Ingot
Barmaids, Purveyors of Nougat, Men drinking Brandy, Soldiers, Arabian Ladies, Mangy Dogs, an Elliptical Monkey, a Corpse (named Simon)
In a garden. KREMOSITE, peeling a large orange, sits on a tall stool under a flowering Jub-Jub tree. Some distance away, PARFAIT is lying flat on his back, balancing a loaf of crusty French bread on his nose.
PARFAIT (sings): A child lost in tall reeds, I yearn for Olaf’s jam. The sun’s luscious flanks inspire my yeasty dough to rise and seek a transitory permanence, a brittle form.
KREMOSITE (speaking slowly): Your purple bonnet caps a bounty of sanguine morsels! No bison could better brighten his budgies with Borax. Admonish your miniscule cellulose billiards to settle into the gelatine quagmire with resolute passivity.
PARFAIT’s baguette, beginning to wobble, is the recipient of a stern gesture of rebuke which passes through PARFAIT’s upper body like a spasm, but was entirely planned.
KREMOSITE (whining like a celestial object squeaks along its predestined orbit): We are transformed by deliberate failure into an elite.
KREMOSITE rises and paces about, stiffly contemplating action. He rubs his hands, and makes as if to make some exclamation. PARFAIT readies himself to consider by adopting a modestly thoughtful pose, slinging the bread across his shoulder like a rifle or a jacket while nonetheless remaining by-and-large recumbent. There is a non-illuminating pause.
PARFAIT and KREMOSITE return to their initial positions.
KREMOSITE (wielding his half-peeled fruit): I am he who has broken the skull of the Other, draining its juice until all our faces dripped. We are fed; murder frees spirit. Every pipe begins and ends.
Several BARMAIDS have entered during the previous conversation. Each time, either PARFAIT or KREMOSITE has made some sign to them which deferred opening up a verbal channel of communication: shooing, nodding, shaking the head, assenting with the eyes, holding up and inverting an invisible cup with a beseeching air. At last, PARFAIT succumbs to impatience; he angrily shakes his wand of bread at the entire room. KREMOSITE, alert to danger, runs up to him and, first grabbing him by the shoulders, agitates his torso so smartly that the entire mood of the proceedings is altered. PARFAIT, stiller, takes on an idiotic expression as KREMOSITE, stunned by the psychic penetration of his exertion, turns and walks away with an exaggeratedly viscous slowness and an apelike stoop. At this moment he lives most fully in his enormous hands, lusting to grasp. Then the mood subsides and KREMOSITE straightens.
KREMOSITE: I only squeeze the past.
He returns to PARFAIT and rubs his peeled orange vigorously against the crust of PARFAIT’s bread with an earnest scrubbing motion, causing the loaf to moisten and the orange to become increasingly less spherical. PARFAIT, relieved of his foodstaff, rises up with the fresh naive awkwardness of a simpleton and performs a little dance. PURVEYORS OF NOUGAT, fat and wearing colorful vests, enter and mime a musical accompaniment with a rich vocabulary of accordion-harmonica-and-drum-based one-man-band motions, while never handling any instrument or substance but nougats of divers varieties which they fetch from a small field altar on wheels. PARFAIT, grinning with closed eyes, snaps his fingers and bobs up and down on his flexible knees. The Nougateers surround him, making insidious attempts on him with their candies. KREMOSITE, having made the foods mushy just in time, suddenly runs at them with the resulting paste, flinging it onto the plate of the sky (see above).
Dismayed by this intervention, the confectioners appear to grow languid and sleepy. PARFAIT tries hard to remember something.
A BARMAID (entering with business-like intentions): Take that!
She discreetly places a ciphered annotation before PARFAIT. The PURVEYORS OF NOUGAT sadly follow her out, holding hands and looking back piteously at the two supermen.
PARFAIT (easily recovering wisdom, sings): A floating growth and a pestilence, we have sought our level, have been deposited here in these droplets. The broken cistern releases a torrent and eddies curl away from it like a luxuriant wig of slithy liquid amoebae whose compulsive rhythms both predict and reenact the birth of solidity, that single event that impinges everywhere and exists nowhere. How often must we trace these curls before (oh happy dirt!) we are flung free of false garments? One circle after another, each one countless times. Oh, tell me to go West. Tell me to go East. Kremosite, I am convinced that our faucets drip so loudly that….
SIR FRANCIS (arriving loudly in a sled): I bring Fate!
Dropping his trousers, he imperiously chastizes PARFAIT and KREMOSITE with the visual revelation of his despair.
A feigned indifference that conceals nothing has obviously been agreed upon by all. Finally, a relaxed aflatus, a harumph of transcendental satisfaction. Darkness.