Episode 31 Transcript

EPISODE 31 - friday, studio time w/ the gang
by Lauren Shippen

[sfx: iPhone voice memo beep]

Chloe: Okay, I’m starting a new voice memo because I finally have the studio to myself and I need to talk through some stuff while it’s all still fresh in my mind. My first studio project is due at the end of next week and Patty is letting me continue work on my sculpture from last semester - the exploding head one. And I still like it but…I don’t know, I’m not feeling it as much as I was. Which I guess is a good thing but…

It’s hard! It’s hard sticking to my own vision of something when I’m seeing and hearing everyone else’s. Francesca is doing a bust sculpture as well - less deconstructed, and part of a bigger series on identity - but her ideas are so interesting that sometimes they find a way into my head and I forget they aren’t mine. So this is for future you: Chloe, the idea about using instamorph to continually remold the sculpture is Francesca’s. You’re using clay and steel. Don’t get distracted. 

I’m so worried that one of these days I’m going to create something and not even realize I’ve stolen the idea from someone else. I know that art is a constant dialogue and there are no new ideas under the sun, but there’s a difference between responding to what came before you or coincidentally having the same idea and outright taking an idea out of someone’s head. Probably not a problem that other artists have to deal with. 

And even if it’s not an idea that another artist has, am I allowed to use the things I see and hear in people’s thoughts? It’s one thing to know Frank’s thoughts and see his paintings and help him do it - I have his permission. We’re working together. If I just pass someone on the street and their thought inspires me in some way…isn’t that just the same as being inspired by your environment? Artists pull from real life all the time - just because my environment is a little different from most doesn’t mean I’m restricted, right? Or is it a violation? I don’t know. 

I’ve tried talking to Dr. Bright about this, but she says she doesn’t know enough about artistic creation to give sound advice. I still want to talk about it with her in person though - even if she feels she’s not qualified to give artistic advice, I bet she still has an opinion. 

[sfx: studio door opening]

Chloe: Anyway, back to the task at hand-

Sam: Are you talking to yourself?

Chloe: Sam! 

Sam: Hey, sorry to just drop by like this. 

[sfx: studio door closing]

Chloe: No problem. You know you’re always welcome. How are you?

Sam: I’m alright. I was feeling a little cooped up in my apartment, so I decided to take a walk and my feet just carried me here, I guess. 

Chloe: Are you okay?

Sam: Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just weird being back in my apartment after so long spent away. I guess I’d gotten used to the open road a bit. 

Chloe: It’s only been a week or so - give it some time. Things will get back to normal. 

Sam: I have absolutely no idea what normal is for me anymore. 

Chloe: I know what you mean. It’s taken me a while and I’m still not sure I’m there. 

Sam: What’s your version of normal?

Chloe: This. Being in school. Hanging out with my mom, and Frank, and you. Making art. Hearing people’s thoughts. 

Sam: Right. I’m glad you’re comfortable with it. 

Chloe: I have to be. I hear voices and see stuff that’s not there - big deal. So do a lot of other people. Just because most people wouldn’t think that’s normal, doesn’t mean it can’t be. 

Sam: True. I guess it’s all about perspective. 

Chloe: Exactly. What’s normal for you?

Sam: Well, time travel definitely. Disappearing at any moment has been my normal for a long time. But that’s what I mean - everything has changed so much this year, I don’t know what my new version of normal is, however weird it might be. 

Chloe: Have you been taking trips?

Sam: I took one last weekend but…I don’t know, I’m nervous about getting stuck again. I feel like I had such good control earlier this summer and now it’s like I’ve backslid or something. 

Chloe: It’s not always going to be easy, Sam. I still have days when everyone’s thoughts are so loud that I have to turn off all the lights in my dorm and crawl under the covers and listen to Jose Gonzalez and not come out for hours. There are going to be bad days. But that can’t stop you from trying. 

Sam: Wow, someone’s been paying attention in therapy. Thinking about changing majors?

Chloe: Not changing. Maybe doubling. 

Sam: Really?

Chloe: Yeah. Art therapy is a thing you know. 

Sam: I know. 

Chloe: Right well, I’ve been helping out at the place Frank and I go to in my spare time and- well, not to toot my own horn - but I’m really good at it. 

Sam: I bet you are. 

Chloe: Stop thinking such nice things about me. It’s embarrassing. 

Sam: Then stop being such a nice person!

[sfx: text vibrate]

Sam: Who’s that?

Chloe: Caleb. I guess he and Adam are going to stop by. 

Sam: Oh wow. Cool. Um, should I? Should I go?

Chloe: Why would you?

Sam: I don’t know. I don’t want to intrude on your Class A club or something. Or young people’s club. Isn’t he like, 17?

Chloe: Yeah, Sam, he is. But you don’t become invisible to teenagers when you reach your twenties. 

Sam: I know. It’s just-

Chloe: I get it. You’re more of a one-on-one kind of person, right? But dinner with my mom and Frank last week was good, wasn’t it? Yeah, see you had fun. I know you were stressed at first but it didn’t take you that long to get comfortable. And yeah, my mom is really easy to get along with and I know you and Frank can relate to each other - I really think it would be good for you to spend more time together. I mean, I can see his thoughts but that’s different from actually experiencing combat first hand. And I know World War I and Iraq are pretty different wars, but I think you could understand him better than me when it comes to that stuff. And he doesn’t have a lot of people to talk to - the venn diagram of people who have been in wars and people who know about atypicals does not overlap much. He’s out job hunting right now but I can text him to see if he’d want to come by when he’s done? Oh no, sorry, that’s too much I guess right? Me, Caleb, Adam, and Frank - I get it, you don’t want to get too overwhelmed. 

Sam: Chloe. 

Chloe: When I listen back to this I’m just gonna hear me talking for like, a minute straight, aren’t I?

Sam: Yeah. 

Chloe: Sorry. 

Sam: It’s fine. It’s…efficient. 

Chloe: So are you cool if Caleb and Adam stop in?

Sam: Yeah. Yeah, of course. I’m- I'm cool. 

Chloe: Yeah, that sounded cool.

Sam: I’ll be fine. I’m actually excited to meet another atypical. I mean, meeting your mom last week was so interesting. The fact that you both have Class A abilities, but not the same one…

Chloe: Thinking about your research project?

Sam: You know I am. Was your dad atypical too?

Chloe: I don’t know. I never met him. Mom doesn’t talk about him much. 

Sam: Ah. Sorry. 

Chloe: It’s okay. I’ve gotten some information from her thoughts. 

Sam: Sneaky. 

Chloe: Yeah, I feel kind of weird about it but if she won’t tell me…he was a musician. And they had this like, really intense, but really short love affair and then…I don’t know, he left for a big tour and she found out she was pregnant and…that was that. 

Sam: She didn’t tell him?

Chloe: No. I guess she thought he was a little too unreliable - that a flighty rock star wouldn’t make a good dad. I think she should’ve given him a chance but…well. Too late now. 

Sam: What do you mean?

Chloe: He died. Heroin overdose. Turns out my mom was right about the rocker lifestyle after all. Kind of a cliche I guess.

Sam: Oh my god, Chloe, I’m so sorry. 

Chloe: I’m not sure my mom even knows. She doesn’t think about him a lot but I looked up the band and well…there it was. About two years after I was born. 

Sam: That’s terrible. 

Chloe: At least I still have my mom. I didn’t- I wasn’t try to rub it in or anything…

Sam: No, no, I know. It’s just…well, any talk of dead parents and I’m bound to think of my own, right?

Chloe: Of course. You’re still wondering if you can save them.

Sam: I don’t think I’ll ever stop wondering about it. As long as I can go back to the past, I’m going to think about saving them. I can’t not. 

Chloe: I know. 

[sfx: knock on studio door]

Caleb: (through the door) Hello? Chloe?

Chloe: Yeah, Caleb, come on in! 

[sfx: studio door opening]

Caleb: Hey, thanks for letting us- Oh. Hi. 

Chloe: Caleb, Adam, this is Sam. 

[sfx: studio door closing]

Adam: Sam? Time traveling Sam?

Sam: Chloe, how much have you told them?

Chloe: Well, Caleb was curious about other atypicals…

Adam: And Caleb tells me everything. Or he did. 

Caleb: I still do. Or. I do now? Again?

Sam: What?

Chloe: Oh, they broke up for a little while because Adam’s parents experimented on Frank but they’re back together. After months of pining. 

Caleb: Hey!

Chloe: What? Caleb, I saw you a bunch this summer. And I can read your thoughts, remember? You were kind of a bummer to be around. And that’s coming from someone who spends most of her time with a veteran of war. 

Caleb: Chloe…

Adam: Oh my god, you’re so lame. 

Chloe: Hey you can’t get too high and mighty, either. I can hear what you’re thinking behind the teasing. It’s pretty embarrassing. 

Caleb: Ha! 

Chloe: Anyway, why are you guys here? You don’t have anything better to do on a Friday afternoon?

Adam: My parents have officially kicked me out of the house for the weekend. 

Chloe: What, why?

Adam: They’re away at some conference in DC for the next few days so I’m staying with my aunt. I think now that I have a boyfriend they don’t trust me to stay in the house alone-

Caleb: Which sucks, because we were gonna snoop around their office, try and see what we could find out. 

Adam: Caleb!

Caleb: What? These two can keep secrets, believe me. 

Sam: Your parents were the ones to experiment on Frank? 

Chloe: Only a part of the team. But remember, they don’t work for The AM. It’s okay, you don’t have to worry. 

Sam: I’m not worrying-

Chloe: Sam. 

Sam: How much do they know about me?

Caleb: We’re right here you know. 

Sam: Sorry, I’m just-

Chloe: Sam isn’t used to having people know her secret, okay? Be nice. 

Caleb: Sorry, I’m just- I'm feeling really…like, my heart is beating really fast, and there’s something sitting on my chest-

Adam: Caleb, you okay? 

Caleb: No, I’m not okay. Are you okay?

Adam: I feel fine. I’m a little worried. 

Sam: Oh god, you’re an empath, right? Sorry, I think this is probably my fault. 

Chloe: Okay, why doesn’t everybody just take a deep breath. Caleb, grab Adam’s hand, that usually helps, right? 

Sam: No, no, I’m sorry this was a bad idea. I think I’m just gonna go. 

Chloe: No, Sam, it’s okay, we’re all okay. 

Sam: I’ll be back, I just need a minute, okay?

Chloe: Sam-

[sfx: time traveling sound]

Adam: Holy shit! Did she just- did that really just- did she just time travel?

Chloe: Uh- I think so. Wow, I’ve never actually seen it happen in person. That’s-

Adam: So. Cool. 

Chloe: Yeah. 

Adam: Caleb, you okay?

Caleb: Yeah, I feel better. She’s kind of an anxious person, isn’t she?

Chloe: Um, yeah. She is. Okay, well, I’m sure she’ll be back soon. And hopefully next time will go a little better?

Caleb: Yeah, sorry, new people are always hard. Particularly when they feel like that. 

Chloe: It’s not your fault. It’s no one’s fault. Putting a bunch of atypicals in a room has some…challenging results, I guess. 

Adam: God, I missed you weirdos. My summer was so boring. 

Chloe: What did you do?

Adam: I read a lot. Visited some family out-of-state. Nothing thrilling. 

Chloe: Well, I’m glad you’re here. Speaking of, why can’t you guys go to your house?

Caleb: My dad’s in one of his “moods”. 

Chloe: Which means…?

Caleb: Writer’s block. He drinks bourbon and mopes. 

Chloe: Yikes. 

Caleb: Yeah. He’s just kind of a bummer to be around. 

Chloe: That’s understandable. 

Adam: I told you, you can come stay with me and Annabelle this weekend if you want. She’s really chill, she’d like you. 

Chloe: Annabelle…that’s your aunt?

Adam: Yeah. 

Chloe: She looks familiar…

Adam: What?

Chloe: You’re picturing her right now, I can see her. 

Adam: Oh. Right. 

Caleb: Do you know her?

Chloe: I don’t know. I don’t think so. I can’t put my finger on it but I feel like I’ve seen her before. 

Adam: Maybe I’ve thought about her before around you?

Chloe: Yeah…maybe. Yeah, that must be it. 

Caleb: So it’s cool if we chill here until Annabelle comes to pick Adam up?

Chloe: Yeah, of course. Chill away. 

Adam: Are you sure you don’t want to come with me this weekend? I could read over your Mrs. Dalloway essay…

Caleb: You’re gonna do that anyway. I already emailed it to you. 

Adam: Nice. 

Chloe: Adam, are you helping this one cheat?

Adam: No, not at all! Caleb doesn’t need to cheat - he’s really smart. I just like reading his essays. 

Caleb: You like taking a red pen to my essays. 

Adam: You’re too liberal with commas! 

Caleb: Adam is a bit of punctuation nut. 

Adam: You’re the one who would die on the hill of the oxford comma. 

Caleb: I just don’t see why anyone wouldn’t use it! It just makes everything clearer! 

Adam: I agree with you but I’m not going to write a whole paper about it! 

Caleb: I didn’t write a whole paper, it was a short extra credit project. 

Chloe: Oh my god, this is flirting for you two isn’t it?

Caleb: What? No- no, no.

Adam: Of course not. 

Chloe: Mind reader, remember?

Adam: That’s a really double-edged sword, isn’t it?

Chloe: Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone how sickening you guys are.

Caleb: Don’t even pretend - you love love. You’re so happy right now. Empath, remember?

Chloe: Yeah, okay, fair enough. 

[sfx: time travel sound]

Caleb: What’s happening?

Adam: Whoa.

Chloe: You’re back! 

Sam: Hi. Sorry about earlier. I’m feeling better now. 

Caleb: Me too. 

Sam: I’m glad. 

Adam: Where did you go? You time traveled, right?

Sam: Yeah, I did. Um, I went to Greece. Well, an island off the coast of Greece. A couple hundred years ago. Kind of a happy place for me. 

Adam: Fuck, that is cool. 

Chloe: So you picked the place?

Sam: Yeah. I could feel a panic attack coming on so I decided to leave before I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Sorry for being so abrupt. 

Chloe: It’s totally fine. You’re among friends, after all. 

Sam: Thanks. 

Adam: So how was it? 

Sam: It was good! Nice day, sunny. The people on the island were just going about their day - farming mostly. Olives. God, I wish I could eat in other times. The food looked so good. 

Adam: You can’t eat the food?

Sam: I can’t do anything. That’s how it works. I’m not really there - it’s more like I’m in this bubble and I can see through it to the other times but I’m not fully in the past.

Adam: The fourth dimension. 

Caleb: What?

Adam: Well, if we and everybody that’s lived throughout history lives in a three dimensional world, Sam here - and other time travelers, assuming that there are other time travelers-

Chloe: There are. 

Sam: (at the same time) There are. 

Adam: Okay. Right. Awesome. Well, then all the time travelers then exist in the third dimension here with us, but you guys can also go to the fourth dimension, which is right next to us, even though we can’t see it. And then you look through the fourth dimension into different times. Right?

Sam: Yeah, that sounds about right. I’m definitely more of a dimensional traveler than a ‘time’ traveler-

Adam: Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. 

Sam: True. But I’ve also been to dimensions that are outside of time. I think. 

Adam: Seriously?

Sam: It’s a long story but…yeah.

Adam: Awesome. 

Sam: Thanks. 

Caleb: Oh man, you are geeking out so hard right now. I haven’t felt you this excited in a long time. 

Adam: Shut up. 

Sam: Is that weird?

Caleb: What?

Sam: Sorry. Just…feeling the emotions of your partner that must be…well, is it helpful? To know what they’re feeling?

Caleb: Sometimes. I misinterpret things a lot though. Or get overwhelmed. 

Adam: And I still have to explain things - it’s not like he can read my mind. 

Chloe: It’s not as much of a picnic as you might think. No, not your thoughts specifically Caleb, just the mind reading in general. 

Sam: Would you give it up if you could?

Chloe: What?

Sam: Your abilities. If you could get rid of them, would you?

Caleb: No way. That’d be like…I don’t know, that’d be like removing part of my brain or something. 

Chloe: Yeah, I’m with Caleb on this. It hasn’t even been a year but it’s so much a part of who I am, you know?

Adam: How long have you been able to time travel?

Sam: Fifteen years. 

Caleb: (whistles) That’s a long time. I mean, would you get rid of it?

Sam: There was a time when I definitely would have said yes. But…well, I’ve found ways to make the most of it I guess. 

Adam: It’s so crazy to me that it would ever be a bad thing. Sorry. But just what could be the downside of seeing all of history?

Sam: A lot of history really sucks. 

Adam: Good point. 

[sfx: phone vibrating]

Adam: Hold on, it’s Annabelle. I’m gonna pop into the hallway. 

[sfx: studio door opening and closing]

Chloe: So…when did you guys get back together?

Caleb: A week ago. 

Chloe: Wow, you just clicked right back into things, didn’t you? Ah, kind of second honeymoon phase, huh? Missed each other a lot, so you’re just happy to be together again but you’re worried that all the same problems are going to crop up once you settle back into it. I get that. I mean, your power doesn’t just go away and neither does Adam’s depression or the fact that Adam’s parents are maybe kind of evil- but wait, it’s your ability you’re most worried about? Why…ohhhh, I didn’t even think about the physical stuff, that’s- yikes, that’s tricky-

Caleb: Chloe- Chloe!

Chloe: Sorry. Sorry, none of my business. 

Caleb: Everything is your business. No don’t- don't feel guilty, I- look, I know you can’t help it.

[sfx: studio door opening and closing]

Adam: Annabelle’s on her way - she’s gonna pick me up here. 

Caleb: Now?

Adam: Yeah, in a couple minutes. She actually took off work early, which is a first for her. Guess she wants some quality time with the nephew. 

Caleb: That’ll be nice. 

Adam: Yeah, she’s cool. Last chance to come along?

Caleb: Could you just drop me off at home actually? I should really spend some time with my family this weekend. It helps everyone when I can tell what kind of mood my dad is in - if he just wants to be left alone and mope, we do that, but sometimes he likes talking through the writer’s block. 

Adam: God, you’re such an ideal child. 

Caleb: Says Mr. Valedictorian.

Adam: Oh my god, Caleb, it’s the first month of school. There’s so much time for me to lose that to somebody else. 

Caleb: I doubt it. Oh my god, Chloe, I already have a mother, you don’t need to be worrying about me. 

Chloe: I’m not! 

Caleb: Yes, you are! It’s all orange and warm, it’s smothering me. 

Adam: What is she worried about?

Chloe: Nothing. I just- I want you guys to be happy, that’s all. 

Caleb: Chloe-

Adam: We are happy. I think. We are, right, Caleb?

Caleb: Yeah, of course we are. 

Chloe: I’m just here if you need to talk about anything. 

Caleb: Stop reading my thoughts. 

[sfx: text vibration]

Adam: That’s her- you can fill me in in the car. I’ll see you guys later? 

Chloe: Sure thing. Have a good weekend. 

Adam: You too. It was nice meeting you, Sam. No, sorry, that’s an understatement. It was really fucking cool meeting you, Sam. 

Sam: Thanks. You too. 

Caleb: See you later, guys. 

Chloe: Be safe, boys! 

Sam: Bye! 

[sfx: studio door opening and closing]

Chloe: Are you okay?

Sam: Huh? Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. 

Chloe: Okay, I was asking out of politeness. I know you’re not okay. Even if I couldn’t read your thoughts, you’ve been awfully quiet for the past few minutes. 

Sam: I’m a quiet person. 

Chloe: I don’t think that’s true. You just think you are. 

Sam: Well…thoughts make us who we are, right?

Chloe: Weirdly, I’m the last person who would ever agree to that. Thoughts lie. 

Sam: Okay, well if you know what I’m thinking then I don’t need to say anything.

Chloe: It doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear it from you. 

Sam: Just. All this time I felt alone because of my power. Because of how it made it impossible for me to form any kind of relationships. And then I met Dr. Bright and realized there were other people like me and I thought maybe I’d be less alone. That I could be part of a bigger group. 

Chloe: You are part of a bigger group. 

Sam: But the way you and Caleb relate to each other…both of your powers are about other people. And they fit well together- you can share in them. And so you understand each other on this new level that’s really nice - I’m really glad that you both have that but…

Chloe: It made you lonely. 

Sam: You have people to relate to. People who understand what it’s like to see inside someone’s head, inside their emotions. My ability is so…isolating. I can’t bring anyone with me, I can’t take pictures or record - trust me, I’ve tried - I can’t share my ability. So even when around other atypicals, even in the present, I’m still in this weird little bubble. 

Chloe: Mark was in that bubble with you. 

Sam: Yeah, he was. I’ve thought so much about what it would be like to share my ability with him. It makes me feel…

Chloe: Yeah. But hey, I’m still here. And even though we can’t share in each other’s power, I can still sort of relate. I mean, I’ve seen some of the trips you’ve been on - the things you’ve experienced. 

Sam: I know. And I’m so grateful for that. For you. 

Chloe: You’re jealous.

Sam: What?

Chloe: Of Caleb. Of the way we were talking.

Sam: It’s just so easy for you guys. The back and forth - you’re so comfortable with each other. I know I’m a lot of work sometimes, and that’s why it’s so nice that you can read my mind because otherwise I’m sure talking to me would be like pulling teeth.

Chloe: No it wouldn’t. You’ve got to stop being so hard on yourself. 

Sam: Ugh, I know. I know, I’m sorry. Well, no, you know what, I’m not sorry, because I’m dealing with a decade of self-doubt and self-loathing and I think I’m doing okay, all things considered. So I’m not going to apologize for being hard on myself because I’m human, and I make mistakes and I’ll just try to better. 

Chloe: That’s the spirit! I knew that road trip was going to be good for you. 

Sam: It was. Well, it was a mixed bag, all in all. But a growing experience, for sure. 

[sfx: phone vibrating]

Sam: Oh, it’s Joan. One sec. 

[sfx: studio door opening and closing]

Chloe: (humming to herself) (gasps) Oh my god. 

Sam: (on the phone) Okay. Yes, yeah, I’m coming over right now. 

Chloe: Sam, I- I know where I’ve seen Adam’s aunt before. 

Sam: Joan just got a voicemail from Mark. 

[sfx: iPhone voice memo ping]

[credits & music]

Lauren Shippen: Episode 31 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen, and produced and recorded by Mischa Stanton. The voice of Chloe is Anna Lore. The voice of Sam is Lauren Shippen. The voice of Caleb is Briggon Snow and the voice of Adam is Alex Gallner. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. For more information about the show, special bonus content, and official merchandise, please visit our website at thebrightsessions.com. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on tumblr, and on twitter @brightpodcast. The Bright Sessions would like to thank Elizabeth Laird, Anna Lore, Elizabeth and Matthew Harrington, Ken Hertz, Oswaldo Rossi, and Authentic. The Bright Sessions will return on January 25th with Episode 32. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange