Veltiosi means “improvement”. Pistosi means “credit”. Kabalos were once believed to be mischievous, shape-shifting creatures which resembled a phallus from time to time.
VELTIOSI You son of a two-headed bitch, he did it, he did it! He did it!!
TIPOTAS Ahhh! Who? Who did what, Veltiosi?
VELTIOSI Empedocles leapt into the crater of Mount Etna!
TIPOTAS Shut up.
VELTIOSI You were right, you son of a two-headed bitch.
TIPOTAS Why are you making shit up again?
VELTIOSI I’m not … I swear to … you! You’re a god, you lucky son of a two-headed bitch.
TIPOTAS Veltiosi, come on, I’m not a god.
VELTIOSI I know, but it does look like you’ve picked up a trick over the years, you wise, son of a two-headed bitch.
TIPOTAS I got lucky. Quit calling me that.
VELTIOSI What do you want me to call you? Tipotas doesn’t suit you any more. You’re somebody, now. Took you long enough, you immortal … son of a …
TIPOTAS I’m not sure if I ever had a father, actually.
VELTIOSI Come on, even gods were supposed to have come from a mother and father. Did you have a mother? How have we not talked about this before?
TIPOTAS I’m sure I had a mother and a father … I can’t remember anything about them.
VELTIOSI Am I supposed to feel sorry for you? I think the immortality more than compensates for your obscure origin.
TIPOTAS I told you, it’s pretty painful, actually.
VELTIOSI Sorry, I am not going to accept that. Not today.
TIPOTAS I have had to endure the —
VELTIOSI Nope, I’m sick of hearing it.
TIPOTAS I thought you were my friend? Friends whine to each other.
VELTIOSI They do … but, you don’t leave any time for us to talk about anything else. You might have forever to whine, but I don’t have forever to listen.
TIPOTAS Sorry, I never thought about that.
VELTIOSI Why would you? Fucking gods … you don’t care about us humans.
TIPOTAS Don’t compare yourself to other humans, Veltiosi, you’re better than that.
VELTIOSI I’m human. I’m mortal. I’ve accepted it. Now, if only we could get you to accept what you are.
TIPOTAS I’m a “what,” now?
VELTIOSI Well, you’re not human.
TIPOTAS I look human. I feel human. Shit, do I feel human.
VELTIOSI I would say that’s a good thing, if I didn’t know that you’re insulting yourself.
TIPOTAS What’s this bullshit you’re talking about Empedocles?
VELTIOSI Your wise eyes saw it coming.
TIPOTAS It wasn’t that difficult … he claimed that human beings began as a scattered mess of people with arms without shoulders, neckless people, people with breasts where their faces were supposed to be … tribes of oxen people … I’ve been around. I just happen to know from experience that he was full of shit. It didn’t take any creativity whatsoever.
VELTIOSI You don’t give yourself enough pistosi.
TIPOTAS Pistosi? Did you just make that up?
VELTIOSI I heard it somewhere.
TIPOTAS What does it mean?
VELTIOSI It means … you! That’s your new name.
TIPOTAS This is fun for you, but I’m sick of renaming myself and keeping the same name and renaming myself. I don’t, I don’t want a name!
VELTIOSI I have to refer to you as something … would you rather two-headed bitch?
TIPOTAS Son of a two-headed son of a bitch. No, Pistosi it is.
VELTIOSI Alright! I was so sick of calling you Tipotas. It wasn’t right.
TIPOTAS You haven’t known me long enough.
VELTIOSI Ok. So, Pistosi … I like it … Pistosi … how did you know Empedocles was going to leap into Mount Etna?
PISTOSI He was inconsistent about everything. One day I would hear people saying that he was claiming to be a god and could heal the sick … That he brought someone back to life who was dead for 30 days!? There’s no bringing a human being back to life. Even if that were possible … “30” in my experience … is a very suspicious number.
VELTIOSI I’m 30.
PISTOSI Exactly. But, you’re not a number.
VELTIOSI Pythagoras would’ve disagreed.
PISTOSI Well, Empedocles stole his views on religion from Pythagoras.
VELTIOSI You wise, man.
PISTOSI Maybe a hint of Orphism in his teachings.
VELTIOSI I would know this had we ever talked about anything but how miserable you are … were. Were!
PISTOSI You can study.
VELTIOSI Why would I need to study, when my best friend is immortal?
PISTOSI Veltiosi. Easy with the human being talk. Friends, best friends, favorite food, favorite grape, favorite god …
VELTIOSI Unlike you: we like to hold onto things.
PISTOSI Exactly! It’s pathetic.
VELTIOSI You would say that. You have to see everyone die.
PISTOSI Why did you have to say that?
PISTOSI You think I want to think about you dying? When I was watching my last friend die, I didn’t think I gave a shit … I’ve seen so many people die … I didn’t think I’d feel anything. 20, 25 years later, I realized … I miss that idiot.
VELTIOSI You were lying to yourself. Come on, not today.
PISTOSI I have to! What choice do I have, Veltiosi!?
VELTIOSI Tell me more about how much you hated Empedocles.
PISTOSI I didn’t hate him. I didn’t want him to die.
VELTIOSI But, you saw it coming.
PISTOSI Yes, I saw it coming … one day he’s a god … one day he’s a pitiful wretch. He was the most mercurial man I’ve heard … since Hermes.
VELTIOSI And, the bean thing, too.
PISTOSI What did you say about …?
VELTIOSI The two Hades worshipers?
VELTIOSI Sniffing each others asses.
VELTIOSI That’s it.
PISTOSI Yeah, but that’s funny.
VELTIOSI I suppose. But, it’s not a joke. It’s difficult to “retell” … I’m glad it makes you happy, again.
PISTOSI Human beings. I’m so glad I’ve met you. Oh … Empedocles with the love and strife … So, his religion is Orphic Pythagorean … His cosmology was the “strife” of Heraclitus plus “love”.
VELTIOSI You’re not doing a good job of explaining it.
PISTOSI What? I’m not a teacher. I don’t want to be a teacher. Do you have any idea what a frustrating process that would be for me? Go study for yourself! I’m just telling you how I knew he was going to kill himself.
VELTIOSI Ok. Go on.
PISTOSI Well, you distracted me, and I feel bad, now.
VELTIOSI You’d think that over thousands of years — you’d have grown some balls.
PISTOSI I just knew it! He made some interesting claims, like, with the cup of water that he whirled around on a string, you remember?
VELTIOSI No, I don’t.
PISTOSI It was like he had kobalos in his head, changing shapes, tricking him all the time … there was no doubt he wasn’t going to have to shut them up.
VELTIOSI But, how did you know he was going leap into Mount Etna?
PISTOSI He was dramatic. It’s big and feared. It’s nearby. Calculated guess I suppose.