The following audio was sent to me anonymously in the form of time-stamped .wav files. The recordings contain notes and observations spoken by Mr. Hanks into a handheld recorder throughout an afternoon in which he ingested psilocybin mushrooms.
I have done my best to transcribe what can be heard in the recordings in an effort to demonstrate the effects that psychedelic substances can have on a person engaging in deep self-reflection. Mr. Hanks’ celebrity only serves to make this an exceptional and significant case in the burgeoning field of psychedelic research.
12:37 pm – OK. I think we’re recording now…It’s about half past noon on September 12, 2017. That’s a full twenty-three years since Forrest Gump came out. Hard to believe. But today, on advice from a director buddy of mine, I'm going to try to get a fresh perspective on my career by watching Forrest Gump and eating some magic mushrooms. I’m putting them on a sandwich because I heard they taste like peanut shells soaked in wax.
12:50 pm – Sandwich wasn't bad, but I don't feel anything yet. I’m taking my copy of Forrest Gump out of the case and putting it in the DVD player. Don’t think I’ve sat down to watch the whole thing since it came out. Let’s see how long twenty-three years really is.
1:12 pm – I feel normal, but kind of curious, like lightning is about to strike my head, but a good kind of lightning.
1:26 pm – The kid they cast as young Forrest is great. I wonder what he's doing right now. Maybe he looks like me. Bet he does. I bet he and I would have been friends as kids. Probably not close friends though. More like lunch-table friends. Maybe. Honestly, he was kind of weird on set.
1:32 pm – I just paused the movie on a frame where I’m talking to an old lady on a bus stop bench. Now this couch feels like a bench, but a nice bench, and I feel like I’m supposed to be talking – and I am talking! So I guess everything’s fine…I’m unpausing the DVD…unpausing?
1:41 pm – This Vietnam sequence is too intense and my stomach feels like a threatened blowfish, but Lieutenant Dan’s performance is spot-on. I mean Gary’s performance, Gary Sinise…God, if Gary only knew I actually think of him as Lieutenant Dan…That’s not that weird, is it? No, it’s OK. He doesn’t know.
1:43 pm – I could’ve handled ‘Nam. I would’ve thrived in ‘Nam.
1:51 pm – Thank God I missed ‘Nam…Sweating in the jungle, all muddy, getting your friend’s brains splattered all over your face after a sniper blasts him as he’s yelling into a radio for God knows what, for…directions, or something…fuck. Why do they yell in those radios, anyway? I should know this. I was Captain Miller. Out of all people, I should know this. Actually a soldier of all people should know this, and I’m not a real soldier. I'll never be a real soldier…
1:53 pm – Gary could have been a real soldier. I would follow him into combat. He reminds me of my dad, but tougher. Yeah. Lieutenant Dad?
2:06 pm – I'm seeing these translucent colors floating around Robin Wright's head…some purples, some reds…maybe a hint of green…Man, she looks good.
2:07 pm – Jenny…Jen-nay…I love you Jen-nay…Jesus, I can't believe I'm really saying this. If someone heard me right now…But I mean, I made the “Jen-nay” thing a thing. I should be able to do it. I can hear myself say the original “Jen-nay” anytime I want. All I need is me to do it. All I need is me.
2:11 pm – How long has it been since I ate this shit? How long have I been sitting here? I feel like I've been stranded on an island for years.
2:16 pm – I recognize the man on the screen is Tom Hanks, but it’s not me. No. I’m changing with every second. I’ll be a totally different person by the end of this sentence. And this sentence. And this sentence.
At this point in the recording, Mr. Hanks leaves the recorder on for the next hour or so. Whether this was done intentionally or not is unknown. All timestamps are based on the previous entry.
At about 2:27 pm, considerable commotion can be heard in the recording, and it soon becomes apparent that Mr. Hanks has set up two more TVs in the living room. One begins to play Saving Private Ryan, and the other Toy Story.
2:33 pm – [Incoherent screaming about “infinity and beyond”]
2:46 pm – Captain Miller is a shadow man. Woody is afraid, but he’s on the right track. And Forrest, god bless that boy.
2:56 pm – There's no way I could move up that beach if I was on Normandy right now. I'd be petrified. But at least I'm being honest, and honesty is bravery in itself.
2:58 pm – What’s that noise? [No discernible noise] IS SOMEONE HERE? SHOW YOURSELF!
2:59 pm – Sector clear.
3:05 pm – [Talking sporadically to himself] and there was that one time I told her, “Yeah, I love my job and all, but wouldn’t it be nice to live in Andy's room with all the toys for a while, you know, just like Woody?” And her eyes got all big, and she laughed, she just laughed. She just doesn’t get it. She doesn’t get me.
3:09 pm – [Vocal machine gun noises]
3:15 pm – Randy Newman. Raaaaaaaandy Newman. Randy Newwwww-Mannnnn. New man. I am a new man.
3:17 pm – What’s that noise?…I KNOW THERE’S SOMEBODY IN HERE…Hello?
3:18 pm – Gary…Is that you?…….Lieutenant?
[End of recording]