9.) The Original Leap Of Faith

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?

VELTIOSI   Shit.

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?

PISTOSI   Yes!

VELTIOSI  Sniffing each others asses.

PISTOSI   Yes!

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.

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1 thought on “9.) The Original Leap Of Faith”

  1. I don’t like that Pistosi has a friend in this one. Makes him soft. Veltiosi kind of rubs me the wrong way.

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