The following text was performed at The Flea Theater, November 8-10, as part of Serials, an episodic late night theatre event where the top three (of five) serialized stage plays return the following week. Episode Six: Cocaine will play November 15-17 @ The Flea.
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.
JIM: It was during a period Sigourney was dating Walken.
SIGOURNEY: Sorry Jim.
JIM: I had gotten a grant to develop an experimental theatre piece using source material from some semi-relevant book of the bible and the Greek myth of Orpheus.
WALKEN: You know, the myth where a lover loses his way in the underworld trying to find the image of his lover?
JIM: I had to produce the show in a European city of my choosing.
TATIANA: I would obviously choose Amsterdam.
WALKEN: That was the obvious choice.
JIM: Sigourney was in Moscow while Walken shot exteriors for that terrible Bond movie no one remembers.
TATIANA: I was bitter.
JIM: (on phone) Come to Amsterdam baby.
SIGOURNEY: No Jim I’m with Chris now.
JIM: I’m at JFK right now and I swear I’ll buy you a ticket if you come back to me.
SIGOURNEY: Are you still seeing all those other girls?
SIGOURNEY: Goodbye Jim.
FLIGHT ATTEND.: Sir?
FLIGHT ATTEND.: Are you crying in this airplane’s bathroom?
FLIGHT ATTEND.: We’re about to land in Holland.
TAXI DRIVER: Sir?
TAXI DRIVER: Welcome to my taxi.
JIM: Thank you so much.
TAXI DRIVER: Perhaps instead of crying you could give me the address of your hotel?
JIM: Nothing matters now.
HOTEL CLERK: Welcome to The Hotel Windmill, sir.
JIM: Sigourney liked windmills.
HOTEL CLERK: I’m assuming from your weeping that would like to know the nearest location to smoke weed?
TALL HOST: Hello.
JIM: She seemed remarkably tall.
TALL HOST: Goedemordag.
TALL HOST: I am your host Annika Mule-en-dyke for this city of Amsterdam.
JIM: Mmm hmm.
TALL HOST: We will see the theater but first would you like to have some bitterballen before we go to the Vondelpark for afternoon appletaart?
TALL HOST: And then maybe later we will see the theater with our technician Otto?
TALL HOST: Oh there is Otto now, arriving on a bike.
OTTO: Come let us go to the theater!
JIM: You guys are speaking English.
TALL HOST: Yes, of course.
OTTO: We prefer it.
TALL HOST: (to Otto) We spreken onze talen.
OTTO: (to Tall Host) We spreken onze talen, of we doen alsof!
JIM: Please don’t do that.
TALL HOST: Yeah, just joking.
OTTO: Our language is terrible and we apologize.
SIGOURNEY: Jim, your agent told me where you were staying and this is a postcard from Russia and I’m about to run out of room and Chris wants to say hi –
SIGOURNEY: I miss you.
JIM: You do?
JAMAICAN MAN: Sir, you have reached your daily five-gram limit of marijuana.
JAMAICAN MAN: I will have Lars our delivery boy drive you home.
LARS: Come sit on my handlebars.
JIM: I’m not going to do that.
LARS: Riding a bicycle in an incredibly dangerous fashion is Dutch tradition.
JIM: Yeah, so are hookers.
LARS: You want to see the hookers?
JIM: And suddenly we were looking at hookers.
LARS: I have to walk into this store for a moment.
JIM: And Lars disappeared.
TATIANA: Tap tap tap.
JIM: Oh hello.
TATIANA: I have a secret for you.
JIM: For me?
TATIANA: Yes, come a little closer.
JIM: She looked like Sigourney.
WALKEN: I could smell her skin.
TATIANA: Roses and windex.
WALKEN: The glowing blacklight behind her circling her head like a halo.
TATIANA: She tells me the price and I tell her
JIM: That seems fair.
SIGOURNEY: I think of my mother for a moment.
JIM: I imagine what she’s doing now.
MOM: Jim will you empty the dishwasher?
TATIANA: Are you nervous?
WALKEN: The woman, whose name is –
JIM: Tatiana takes my hand and leads me down a neon pink corridor.
TATIANA: It opens up into a black-tiled room with a white bed.
WALKEN: We sit next to each other on the bed.
JIM: I don’t know what to do.
WALKEN: With a lover I try to comfort her with my body then whoops, we’re having sex.
SIGOURNEY: But Tatiana’s playful exterior soon gives way to a business-like demeanor.
TATIANA: You have fifteen minutes from when you enter this door to when you put your clothes on and leave.
JIM: I quietly undress.
TATIANA: You have HPV.
TATIANA: Here look at your dick do you mind if I hold it?
JIM: Oh hey –
TATIANA: Look at the end of your dick here. You see these spots?
JIM: Yeah I just thought those were scratches.
TATIANA: No man these are warts you should go to the doctor.
JIM: How did you know?
TATIANA: I’m a sexual health teacher. You’re gonna have to take an antibiotic.
JIM: So what does that mean, what do these mean?
TATIANA: We wear a condom.
WALKEN: She gives me a blowjob.
SIGOURNEY: The radio blares Dutch ads, the Klingon language distracting from the task before me.
WALKEN: I reach my hand down to fondle the back of her head and she says
TATIANA: No uh uh
WALKEN: with my dick in her mouth, looking in my eyes.
SIGOURNEY: I tell her to fuck me.
TATIANA: I ask if I can fuck her from behind.
WALKEN: She says no then mounts me.
JIM: I lose my concentration when Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic” comes on the radio.
TATIANA: As the first chorus rises I come.
SIGOURNEY: My sight is bleary and the purple blacklight makes Tatiana, who kneels beside me, looking like a 40s starlet through a smeared neon lens.
WALKEN: I walk outside its midnight.
JIM: I read somewhere – maybe on the travel guide on the flight – that the entirety of the Dutch nation exists fifteen feet below sea level.
WALKEN: Which would technically make it the underworld.
JAMAICAN MAN: That’s why they call it the Netherlands.
JIM: Man I’m just putting this together now.
JAMAICAN MAN: This is hell, brother.
JIM: Could I please get another hash cookie?
JAMAICAN MAN: Looks like you’re all out of money.
JAMAICAN MAN: There’s a payphone in the back.
JIM: (on phone) That’s what I’m saying.
BANK TELLER: Sir there’s nothing we can do right now.
JIM: I just need you to wire over one thousand dollars.
BANK TELLER: Sir it is 4 a.m. in Holland –
JIM: Uh huh and I need that money right now
BANK TELLER: I’m not going to ask what a grown man who shares a checking account with his girlfriend is doing in Amsterdam.
JIM: I’m here on research
BANK TELLER: Good night sir.
JIM: It’s morning No don’t hang up FUCK (hits receiver against phone booth) FUCK (hits receiver) FUCK (hits) FUCK!
COP: Tap tap tap.
COP: Yeah, we are here to arrest you?
WALKEN: I was surrounded by eight cops in riot gear.
JIM: I was just making a phone call.
COP: Yeah well you are screaming in the street and have smashed this phone into pieces.
SIGOURNEY: I looked down at my left wrist.
JIM: I’m bleeding.
COP: Yeah you see a large shard of phone plastic has cut your artery open?
SIGOURNEY: A maroon blood bubble slithered from the open slit.
JIM: It was dark for a while.
WALKEN: Then I woke up next at the police station.
COP: Sir we have bandaged your cut.
JIM: … Thank you.
COP: We are thinking that we let you go and in exchange you never come to our country again?
The opening strains Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic.”
JIM: … Hey.
SIGOURNEY: You look bad.
JIM: You’re in Russia.
SIGOURNEY: I flew in.
SIGOURNEY: On your passport application I’m your emergency contact.
JIM: Fuck, I should have changed that.
SIGOURNEY: Fuck you don’t change it.
SIGOURNEY: You’d die without me.
JIM: Where’s Walken?
SIGOURNEY: They have to re-shoot the scenes where he’s laughing.
JIM: So … ?
SIGOURNEY: I’m just here to pay your bail.
SIGOURNEY: What happened?
SIGOURNEY: What happened to your hand?
JIM: I cut it.
SIGOURNEY: I don’t wanna know what you were doing here.
JIM: I was working on theatre.
SIGOURNEY: You know what I mean.
JIM: Yeah mom?
MOM: Did you unload the dishwasher?
JIM: Yeah in just a sec.
MOM: Because we need those dishes for dinner.
JIM: Yeah mom just – just give me a moment.
Jim and Sigourney stare into each other’s eyes,
waiting for the other to say the next word.
The chorus of “Ironic” kicks in.
(“It’s like RAIIIIN …”)