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Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

THE TRUE DRUG STORIES OF JIM SIMPSON #1: LSD

In Plays on August 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM

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The following text was performed at The Flea Theater, August 23-25 2012, as part of Serials, an episodic late night theatre event where the top three (of five) serialized stage plays return the following week. Episode Two: Robitussin will appear in September.

PRE-RECORDED VOICEOVER
(with American accent) Mesdames et Messieurs, au début de 2003, Marché aux
puces, directeur artistique Jim Simpson a fait une série d’entretiens avec NPR à
propos de ses expériences largement relatés avec des narcotiques dans ses
premiers jours. Ce qui suit est une reproduction d’un de ces entretiens. (with
French accent) Ladies and gentlemen, in early 2003, Flea Artistic Director Jim
Simpson did a series of interviews with NPR about his widely chronicled
experiments with narcotics in his early days. The following is a recreation of
one of those interviews.

CASHIER
When Bill finally got back to the house with the LSD, we were ready for bed.

FLIGHT CLERK
I had been waiting to try the drug for the first time with three other friends at
Bill’s apartment, which was next to an arboretum.

TAXI WOMAN
Bill told me to tilt my head back and open my mouth.

FLIGHT CLERK
I opened my mouth and with a dropper he dropped three into the back of my
tongue.

BILL MURRAY
That should do you good,

CASHIER
he said.

FLIGHT CLERK
We waited around on beanbags for the effects to kick in.

TAXI WOMAN
I started to get worried about the time.

FLIGHT CLERK
It was already one and I had to get on a flight to Philadelphia for the first
rehearsal of a play.

TAXI WOMAN
But then Bill suggested we take a walk down the arboretum.

CASHIER
So we did that.

FLIGHT CLERK
And about halfway through the impossibly lush greenery of the city’s
arboretum, Bill knelt down by the corner of a small bucolic lily pad lined pond
and began vomiting, a fountain of black liquid pouring steadily into the pristine
water.

TAXI WOMAN
And then my friends and I similarly knelt by the pond, and began simply and
cleanly vomiting like stone gargoyles.

BILL MURRAY
This is the precursor,

CASHIER
Bill informed us,

BILL MURRAY
of getting very very high.

FLIGHT CLERK
The next memory I have is catching a frisbee in slow motion on a large
deserted city street.

CASHIER
And then suddenly like a time warp it was morning, and I was standing out
front of the house with my bags.

FLIGHT CLERK
Bill and the others were lounging on the lawn.

CASHIER
A taxi rolled up and Bill helped me with my bags and picked me up off the
ground with a bear hug.

FLIGHT CLERK
Later in the taxi on the way to the airport, the driver muttered:

TAXI WOMAN
Good friends?

JIM SIMPSON
Huh,

CASHIER
I said.

TAXI WOMAN
You and your friends on the lawn?

CASHIER
And I thought about my friends, then looked out at the clouds illuminated by
the morning sun, which quickly turned into the head of the devil, and for a
moment I let the tongue of the devil lick my face.

TAXI WOMAN
What is your terminal?

JIM SIMPSON
Hmm?

TAXI WOMAN
Your flight.

JIM SIMPSON
My … Flight?

CASHIER
I had forgotten why I was in the cab.

FLIGHT CLERK
I was about to get on a six hour flight.

CASHIER
The cab screeched to a halt and I popped open the door and simply stood by
the curb, looking down at it, as if it had further information.

FLIGHT CLERK
The cab driver began slinging my luggage over me like a coatrack.

CASHIER
It took me a moment to understand that he wanted to be paid.

FLIGHT CLERK
I handed him a twenty and ten.

CASHIER
He clasped me on both shoulders and told me, genuinely:

TAXI WOMAN
Good luck.

FLIGHT CLERK
Now one of the features of LSD – whose scientific name is lysergic acid
diethylamide but is also known as lysergide and colloquially as acid and is a
semisynthetic psychedelic drug of the ergoline family well known for its
psychological effects like altered thinking processes and closed and open eye
visuals and an in some cases an altered sense of time and spiritual experiences –
is that in airports, it turns everyone into a police officer.

TAXI WOMAN
The man passing with his luggage.

CASHIER
The woman manning the currency exchange.

FLIGHT CLERK
Sir?

TAXI WOMAN
(It was the flight clerk.)

FLIGHT CLERK
Sir?

JIM SIMPSON
Hmmyeah yes I’m here.

FLIGHT CLERK
Sir are you checking anything?

JIM SIMPSON
Nono.

FLIGHT CLERK
Here’s your ticket and your receipt.

JIM SIMPSON
My ticket for my flight.

FLIGHT CLERK
Yes.

CASHIER
I figured maybe an orange juice would stop the swirling patterns from
appearing on the faces of passing children, so I put on my sunglasses and
waited in line.

TAXI WOMAN
I thought about my mother, about how she was going to die in the next ten
years, and when I got to the register all I asked for was napkins.

CASHIER
Sir you kay?

JIM SIMPSON
Uh huh.

CASHIER
Could you please cry on the side of the line?

FLIGHT CLERK
And then I was a sitting on a men’s room toilet thinking about my mother.

TAXI WOMAN
I looked at the ticket in my hand.

CASHIER
I thought about boarding the flight.

FLIGHT CLERK
Taking off.

TAXI WOMAN
Strapped to a chair.

CASHIER
Ground rushing by fast below.

FLIGHT CLERK
I could imagine myself pulling the emergency door open and sailing through
the morning sky to my death.

TAXI WOMAN
It was the moment I started planning this, the moment a small voice in the
quiet of the stall said yes, that’s what you should do, why don’t you just do that
that I began to rethink my decision to get on the flight.

FLIGHT CLERK
Sir?

JIM SIMPSON
Yes?

FLIGHT CLERK
You missed your ten twenty to philly?

JIM SIMPSON
I’m really sick.

FLIGHT CLERK
You look sick.

JIM SIMPSON
I need to go home.

FLIGHT CLERK
We’ll book you on a later flight.

JIM SIMPSON
You’re a super nice lady.

FLIGHT CLERK
Please don’t touch my hand.

CASHIER
It took three hours for my bags to come back from baggage.

TAXI WOMAN
While waiting I stared at the baggage carousel rotate endlessly.

CASHIER
I took another cab back to town.

FLIGHT CLERK
I hopped out at Bill’s place but he didn’t answer the door so I hopped into the
back of his convertible el dorado, pulled my bags over myself as blankets, and
stared into the sky for five hours.

TAXI WOMAN
Eventually Bill noticed a bum sleeping in his car.

BILL MURRAY
Looks like you had a rough time.

JIM SIMPSON
Whad you guys do?

BILL MURRAY
Denny’s.

FLIGHT CLERK
I pulled a fish-smelling sheet over me and lay down on Bill’s couch.

TAXI WOMAN
After an hour of being unable to shut my eyes, my phone rang.

CASHIER
The display read Mom.

JIM SIMPSON
I let it ring through to voicemail.

The above text was originally directed by Liz Thaler and featured:

Alex Grubbs – JIM SIMPSON
Jenelle Chu – TAXI WOMAN
Glenna Grant – CASHIER
Georgia Lifsher – FLIGHT CLERK
Danny Rivera – BILL MURRAY