Embracing the Chaos: A Conversation with the Cast of 'The Salton Sea'

10 min

My name is Tom Van Allen...

...or Danny Parker.

I honestly don't know anymore.

You can decide.

Yeah, maybe you can help me, friend.

As you can see, I don't have

a hell of a lot of time left.

You can decide who I am.

Avenging angel.

Judas Iscariot.

Loving husband.

Prodigal son.

Prince of Denmark.

All of these? None of these?

You decide.

Trumpet player.

Speed freak.


That's as good a place

to start as any.

But first, a little background

on the mad world of the tweeker.

Methedrine was first distilled by a

Japanese scientist before WW II.

Hand it to the Japanese, they knew

a good thing when they saw it.

This guy is so tweeked he thinks

he can survive this without a scratch.

Maybe not.

By some estimates, 2% of the Japanese

had a meth problem after the war.

Factory workers, soldiers, pilots.

That's why it took two bombs

to get them to surrender.

A nuclear blast is just a minor

nuisance to a determined tweeker.

In the '50s,

the housewives got ahold of it.

Dexedrine, Benzedrine, Methedrine.

Now, that's a classic

speed freak for you.

Skinny and cleaning house.

Her husband never knew

what hit him in the sack.

It's rumored that one of our presidents

dabbled with energy shots.

Imagine that, a slammer

in the White House.

If it's true, I bet Khrushchev

never got a word in edgewise.

By the late '60s, the government

cracked down and sent it underground.

Bikers controlled the market

for a while.

Now anyone with a chemistry kit and

the ingredients can cook it at home.

Ever see a long-haired,

tattooed freak...

...buying up all the cold medicine

at 3 in the morning?

Take it from me,

he doesn't have a cold.

He's a cook.

In his kitchen, you'll find a grocery

list of unsavory ingredients.

Drain cleaner, hydrochloric acid,

match heads for red phosphorus...

...ether and of course,

the cold medicine.

That's for the ephedrine

soon to become Methedrine.

This guy is a regular Julia Child.

Problem is, even Julia screws up

the bouillabaisse from time to time.

- It's not right.

- You think?

Something's off.

We can do better.

This dude in my CMA meeting...

...he f***ed my sister.

- Funny!

- That's f***ed.

He's a quantum physicist.

He's telling me about uncertainty.

You never know what

a molecule is doing.

When you look at it, it changes,

it reacts. Like people.

You wouldn't know what I was doing

unless you were looking.

You're so locked in,

I could choke you!

So here's the deal.

We'll do an experiment. Look at me.

Look away. Look back at me.

So that's where I found myself.

No, I should choose

my words more wisely.

This is the world I sought out.

The land of the perpetual night party.

Day swallowing night

and night swallowing day.

The crank compressing time

like some divine piston...

...on its awesome downstroke.

We've been at this for three days.

Or is it four?

Tweekers, lokers, slammers,

coming and going...

...swearing eternal allegiance

for one another...

...only to wake up realizing

you wouldn't cross the street...

...to piss on them

if their head was on fire.

Three days.

Or is it four?

I know what you're thinking

but don't give up on me yet.

Just wait till I've told

my whole story.

And keep your eyes open.

Nothing is as it seems.

- We're out of gak!

- What time is it?

- It's like 12.

- Midnight?

- You okay?

- Yeah.

I would not be into this without you.

How did we get this gig?

- I don't know. Got a dealer in mind?

- Bobby.

- Who's Bobby?

- He'll have some good stuff.

Jimmy the Finn,

let's score some gak.


They're coming.


The spiders, man.

But I'm ready for you this time!

Ready for you!

You thought you could f***

with Bobby!

You thought you could f***

with Bobby!

With Bobby

you thought you could f***!

Got that ass, boy! Yeah!

- Who the f*** are you?

- It's me, man. It's Jimmy.

- What can I do for you?

- Couple eight balls ought to do us.

Six. Six.

- I can't breathe!

- You know what? Don't mind her.

Don't mind her, man!

Shut the hell up, goddamn it!

You know what?

I got no vocational skills.

- What the f*** do you want from me?

- Hey, man, take it easy.

- I got no vocational skills!

- Take it easy!

- What?

- Lay off the girl!



Did you bring the plastic men?

Did you bring the plastic men?

Did you bring the plastic men?

No, man.

That's your good crank

talking there, brother.

F***ing come on, Bobby!

Come on!

Bobby? Bobby?

That rhymes with....

That rhymes with....



- Hobby.

- Hobby.

- I like that.

- Funny.

Bobby, hobby.

Couple of eight balls, huh?


I like that. Six.

Excuse me.

I don't mean to impose

but I am the Ocean.


What? He's just juiced.

He wouldn't do nothing.

- It was like our own private soiree.

- So far in, we were out!

How do you know

you're doing the right thing?

I don't know, like people

around you are happy.

They say thank you and stuff.

Just go with the flow.

Come on, brother, power chord!

For the people that don't do drugs

or just do them occasionally...

...it's something that becomes

your life and you belong.

You finally hit bottom

and you know who you are...

...because you can't go any lower.

When you find...

...a friendship...

...that you wouldn't

have found anywhere else.

Still and all...

...there's a kind of intimacy

with those that can go the distance.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Embracing the Chaos: A Conversation with the Cast of 'The Salton Sea'" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/embracing_the_chaos:_a_conversation_with_the_cast_of_'the_salton_sea'_17383>.

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