PRIEST OF SALES
D. Scott Cole
Based on characters and ideas from
Priest of Sales
By D. Scott Cole
Copyright 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999
Dorian Scott Cole
Contact: Primary Contact.
Travis is pacing the floor in front of the telephone. He looks apprehensively at the phone, touches it, turns away, grasps it with some determination, but puts it down, afraid to call, but inescapably drawn. He finally picks it up and dials.
"Hello," Tracy's voice comes pleasantly over the phone.
"Tracy, this is Travis."
There is silence for a moment.
Finally she replies formally, "How are you, Travis?"
"I'm fine... except... I miss you."
"I suppose you do, one way or another." Tracy's voice is full of uncertainty.
Travis is not encouraged by her tone. He is flustered. "I know I let you down... I .. I.. " he can hear Tracy sigh with exasperation in the background. He continues hurriedly, "I'm sorry I let you down. Can we.. can we get together for dinner and talk?" He pauses, then adds reassuringly, "Just dinner?"
Tracy pauses, reluctant, as fearful of getting together with Travis as he was apprehensive about calling her. Neither want more pain, but both are drawn to each other. Like a child picking her punishment, she says, "Can I pick the restaurant?"
"Sure," Travis replies too quickly, jumpy, nerves
destroying his composure. As they say their good-byes, even though there
is no warmth or affection, Travis is inwardly happy - there is hope.
FORMAL RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Travis and Tracy are being seated at a nice table. Both are elegantly dressed. The maitre d' appears, bows and exchanges pleasantries with a formal, stilted accent. He hands them a wine list and leaves. Another waiter fills their water glasses with bottled spring water. Travis studies the wine list and offers it to Tracy. She waves it away with a smirk contempt and Travis lays it down. Moments later a wine steward appears to take their order. Travis orders a French wine, properly pronouncing it with a French accent. The waiter nods and leaves.
"Do you often order French wines?" Tracy asks, obviously trying to make conversation.
"Only on business and formal occasions. I prefer the California wines."
"Then why the French wine? I really don't care."
There is an edge to her voice that Travis tries to identify. Is it disgust, or contempt, or is she going to spill over with anger? Can he ride this out, or will the evening explode?
"Because you're worth it. Call it...penance," he replies.
Tracy replies icily, "Just how much am I worth?"
Travis is taken aback. He doesn't know how to reply, so he blurts out, "Is that what this expensive restaurant is about?"
"I don't know. Is it?" Tracy replies haughtily.
Travis quickly denies that accusation. "I'm not trying to buy my way into your heart, if that's what you think."
The wine steward returns with a bottle on a tray, approaching out of Tracy's view.
"I don't know what to think. What should I think about a man who screws everything in a skirt just because he can?"
Travis looks very embarrassed. The wine steward does an about-face and leaves.
"I suppose you've never done anything wrong? A pillar of rectitude?" he fires back. He angrily pulls the napkin from his lap and starts to throw it onto the table, but thinks better of it and places it on the plate, his agitation obvious in his jerky movements.
Tracy starts to reply, then bows her head, obviously troubled about something, but silent.
Travis studies her for a moment. She remains silent and swirls her wine, staring at it. Travis' look grows compassionate. "Tell me, what can I do to apologize?" He gropes for words. "To... make it up to you?" And he continues forcefully, "To put us back together?"
The passion and genuineness in his voice moves her from her contemplation. She looks at him, her eyes cold with indignation. "Maybe you could start by explaining just what it was you thought you were doing to me."
"I was enjoying your company," Travis replies softly.
"And you didn't enjoy those other women?"
Travis takes a deep breath and sits silently. The wine steward approaches, slowly, shows Travis the bottle from a distance and eases close enough for him to see. Travis nods. The steward opens the bottle, pours some in a cup on a chain around his neck, tastes, approves, and pours a small amount in Travis's glass. Travis tastes and nods. The steward pours both of their glasses and leaves.
"I was falling in love," Travis confides.
Tracy brushes this comment aside - she will not fall for a line. "We knew each other less than two weeks. You sweep two or three women off their feet every week."
"From the moment we met, I felt very comfortable with you," Travis continues, hoping his honesty will make her see reality.
Tracy can't get passed the reality of his lifestyle. "You seem to get comfortable with women very easily."
Travis sighs. He has gained her presence but seems to have no chance of winning her. "You're not making this easy for me," he says sullenly. "Why did you agree to see me again?"
"I made a mistake once. A big one.You're NOT going to be another."
The maitre d' approaches the table and stands with the
menus folded before him like a father about to address his wayward children.
Tracy is doing a facial on a woman. Travis enters. Tracy sees him and smiles, pleased but cautious. She directs him to a chair. He watches her do the finishing touches on the woman. Tracy sees him watching and they exchange glances.
The woman leaves and Tracy begins to gently clean his face with a cloth. Their eyes meet, Tracy melts as she cleans, but gets uncomfortable. She angrily grabs the mud, slaps it on his face and smears it all over his face and spills some on his clothes. She swipes it off his shirt, making the mess even bigger. Worked into a fit, she continues with a vengeance, wiping the mud all over his shirt, neck, and hair. Travis takes his beating like a man. After a moment she stops, her eyes full of tears. She sees a clean spot on his nose and dabs some on it. They laugh.
Travis waits in his car. Tracy exits the building. She gets in the car with Travis and he is beaming.
"OK, what's up?"
"I have put together five corporate accounts in five weeks. And that got me promoted to Assistant National Manager."
Tracy smiles, but is still reserved.
Travis's smile fades. "Is something wrong?"
"Everyone thinks you're screwing Gina. You spend more time with her than you do with me. And/or promotion proves it."
Travis slumps against the steering wheel. "It isn't fair. Gina is the one who is putting my life back together! Without her help.... I'd be lost! Why are they doing this? I'm going to end up losing you all over again."
Tracy watches his torment. She sees he is sincere and puts her arms around him.
Travis walks Tracy to her door. They stop by the door and he kisses her. She takes out her key to unlock the door. He kisses her again, prolonged, but he pulls away and moves away.
"Good night. See you tomorrow?" he asks.
"Tracy grabs him by the sleeve, unlocks the door and pulls him in."
TRACY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Travis and Tracy are in bed. Travis is holding Tracy, stroking her lovingly. She cuddles closer to him. He begins kissing her, covering her body, lingering briefly, tantalizing her. At her lips he kisses lightly, teasing, until she can take it no longer and pulls him onto her.
DISSOLVEThey are laying side by side, embraced.
Tracy flirts with the clumps in his hair. "Gina likes you. I can see it in the way she looks at you."
Travis groans. "There is nothing going on between us. Gina doesn't want a relationship."
"You like her." Tracy states.
"Not like I like you."
"She's going to be your biggest temptation," she says prophetically.
Travis grins at her. "I think you're just jealous."
"I am jealous. You can't have a close relationship with two women. And you can't tell me you're not close to Gina."
Travis feels trapped - he doesn't know what to say. "I can't... associate with one, and love the other? I don't get this?"
Tracy is quiet for a moment, solemn, reflecting on something. She sighs. "I'm going to tell you something I haven't told anyone. I told you I made a big mistake once." She pauses, watching Travis's reaction, waiting for some indication that she can trust him, gathering her courage.
She continues, "Half way through my Sophomore year of college, my father lost his job. I had no money coming in and my financial aid was exhausted." She looks to see if he appreciates her situation. He does. "There was a men's college nearby, and there was a professor who taught at both campuses. Psychology. He kept trying to get me to go to work for him - he had a sex therapy business that he had to keep low profile or risk losing his tenure, he said. I always said, no.
"Then when my Dad lost his job and I went begging, the professor asked me to work as a sex surrogate." She watched him for a reaction. His smile had steadily faded into a compassionate stare, and then a frown.
Tracy sat up and went on, sounding apologetic, defending her action, her arms waving expressively. "There were a lot of professors who had these problems - premature ejaculation, and fear of women - all kinds of weird things. I had to see several of them once or twice a week."
Her eyes suddenly filled with pain as she continued. "Then one day the police came and arrested me - arrested us all. The jerk was running a prostitution ring with college girls. Some of them knew it. I didn't - I was gullible." Her head hung in shame. "I got a police record, my name was in the paper - it was so humiliating. Everyone on campus knew. I had to go to a different college my Junior year."
She punched him in the chest, hard, and continued punching him. "I'll never trust any man. Don't expect me to trust you with Gina."
Mark is in the modeling studio explaining the program to a prospect. Travis enters, carrying a book. Mark ignores him and continues explaining the program. After staring at Mark for a long time, Travis takes a seat and waits. Mark finally takes papers and has the woman sign them. Mark shakes her hand and she leaves, with Mark following her up the aisle past Travis. Mark stops by Travis, but he is less than friendly.
"Sorry to make you wait. I can't afford to let a prospect get away," he says brusquely.
"It's OK," Travis replies courteously.
"So what's up, another new promotion, or another promotion?" Mark's play on words is pointedly aimed at Travis fast track progress in the company.
They begin walking into the atrium toward Mark's office.
"Nothing is up, actually. I saw this book -a new one on superstrings - I thought you might like it. I was in town, so.... "He hands him the book.
Mark looks at it indifferently. "Is this supposed to make up for something?"
Travis is puzzled at Mark's cool response. "No. I just.... You don't get to do what you want to do. At least this thing is good reading - supposed to be."
"Gee thanks. Life by vicarious."
Travis stops and pulls the book away from Mark. "I didn't mean to insult you, I just wanted to help. You're responsible for your own life, you know. You want to do something, you do it."
"Yeah, Mark the miracle worker," Mark mocks contemptuously. "Who told you that crap anyway?"
Mark stops walking and looks at Travis. "I guess you should know. "Mark walks more quickly toward his office. Travis remains.
"We're not doing anything," Travis says loudly after him. "Nothing at all."
Mark quickly reverses and is back in Travis's face, assaulting him verbally. "She likes to meditate a lot. Get to know a person deep down. Gets in your soul. Then it's meditation -in the nude - and making love with the mirrors reflecting. And going into ecstatic trances in her hot tub or her living room and ending up in bed. Or fucking right there in the hot tub. She likes it best in the water, doesn't she. You know what I'm talking about!"
Travis is shaken. "No, I don't."
Mark continues hotly, "All that spiritual stuff is just her foreplay. Just a prelude to sex. Don't mess with me, Travis, I know how the lady works."
Travis gives Mark a sick look and leaves.
"Congratulations on your promotion," Mark yells after
him. "You got it all."
INT. GINA'S KITCHEN
Gina and Travis are seated, dinner is done. Gina rises and begins clearing dishes from the table. Travis watches her, thinking about the episode with Mark. Gina notices he is slow to respond.
"I'll wash, you load," she says to get him going.
Travis opens the dishwasher door and begins loading.
"Why do you always wash your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher?"
"That's not a dishwasher, that's a marketing concept. It won't clean."
"Then why did you buy it?" Travis asks.
"The builder who built the house recommended it. He said since I was single I probably didn't need the upgrade model." She smiles as if all the world is innocent and happy, then continues, "He failed to tell me this model was just the manufacturer's marketing concept, it doesn't actually wash the dishes."
"So what are you going to do with the thing?"
"Exchange it for their competitor's model. It's the best advertising their competitor has."
"Makes you think about our marketing, doesn't it? How genuine are any of us?" For a moment their eyes meet. Gina wonders if there is something more to Travis's statement. His eyes seem to be searching her soul, but she can't figure out why?
"Jordan and I have an understanding. If it isn't genuine, we don't sell it. Believe me, a lot comes down from Kenrick that's gold-plated crap."
Travis closes the dishwasher door and Gina starts it.
"How important are your visions? Do you hear voices from God?"
Gina laughs. "No. They're only my own internal gropings. My subconscious breaks through and tells me something, but it's in symbols, like a puzzle. It's like looking through a mist -instead of seeing clearly, I see everything disguised."
She sees Travis is studying her closely and she feels uncomfortable.
Something is going on. "C'mon, I'm going to get comfortable
- I'll meet you in the meditation room."
INT. GINA'S MEDITATION ROOM
Gina and Travis are getting seated in the meditation room. Gina's clothing is sheer, revealing, sensual. Travis is drawn to her, but at the same time fearful.
Travis flips the edge of her sheer blouse. "Are you testing my mettle?"
"No, does this bother you? I'm sorry, I'll change. "Gina hurriedly starts to leave, but Travis stops her.
"No, don't. You've helped me understand I don't have to.... taste every sweet temptation."
Gina smiles at him and switches on the computer. She begins switching through images.
As she works, Travis says, "People are talking about us. They think there is more going on between us than there is."
Gina is unruffled. "People will think what they want. I can't live my life by other's small minds," she says, her mind not distracted from selecting images.
Travis continues, his mind on Mark's statements. "If everything you see is so veiled, why do you do this stuff? It all sounds like some voodoo ritual straight from Africa. You know, those dances where they get ecstatic and everything ends in an orgy or something."
"Hey!" She shouts, really disturbed by his remark. This is not like Travis. What is getting into him.
Travis laughs nervously, then sobers. "I just want to understand. This is really weird for me."
Gina eyes him suspiciously. He is prying, and something has led him to pry. Well, all she can do is be candid - they do have some trust built up.
"Look, I did misuse this room, this meditation once, with Mark. I'm not an angel, you know, and Mark and I were... well, you know our history. But, hey, you know this is really important to me. This dream is driving me crazy. Dreams are your subconscious knocking. They're a prod to get you to start unraveling yourself."
"I suppose you're right," is all Travis can say.
"I've had ecstatic visions since I was a kid. But I've made very little progress unlocking them. And it's because I really haven't grown - matured - very much."
"I doubt that - but I'm not one to speak about maturity." He smiles at her.
Gina continues explaining, "Visions tell me more than a dream. They stay in the back of my mind and one day I understand - I see life happening and the vision just makes all the sense in the world."
"Do you have a lot of these visions?"
Gina is pleased to see that Travis is no longer wary of her and her peculiar practices. "I have ecstatic experiences maybe once a month, but no vision. I have a vision maybe on average every.... five years. I meditate to try and see within myself to find the answers."
"But this sounds so...." he realizes what he is about to say, but has already said to much to stop. He continues Sheepishly, "sounds so hocus-pocus." Gina is not easily insulted and saves the moment by smiling at him. "If you're having this dream, and it's so important, why don't you understand it?"
"Because it's painful. It's telling me something about myself that I'm hiding from, so it's telling it tome in symbols."
"If it's painful, why do it?" Travis crabs.
She continues patiently, "We're not comfortable with a lot of things about ourselves. Growth.... stretches us in painful ways. But if you really try to understand and help yourself, you unlock yourself from the chains that hold you back.
"Enough! Let's do it." She has the image of a casket projected.
She repeats over and over like a chant. "Why am I afraid of not having lived? Why am I afraid of not having lived? Why am I afraid of not having lived.... "
GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
Gina is looking outward from the casket. Suddenly Kenrick is standing by the casket holding a candle and looking down at her.
Kenrick says his little poem, but sounding a little more mean and determined this time.
"Don't you laugh as the hearse goes
by, for you may be the next to die."
Gina sees the faces of other people reflected in the candlelight. Wells, Margo, and Tracy are among them, but the rest are unknown.
The vision fades as Kenrick continues.
"The undertaker takes you in while
all of your relatives sit and grin."
Gina and Travis are staring at the image of the casket in the mirror. Gina's attention returns to the present.
Gina feels forlorn. "It was more real this time. People were at my funeral this time. People I know."
"What does that mean?"
"I have no idea," she says, despair in her voice.
Travis has never seen her like this. "How do you solve the mystery?" he asks anxiously.
"Little clues." Suddenly she rises to the challenge." I love color. Let's work on that a little. I was wearing a white dress."
"White wedding gowns are a symbol of purity."
"Definitely not this time."
"Were you mourning the death of your virginity?" Travis asks in all seriousness.
Gina hits him.
"Maybe not actual virginity, but symbolically?"
Gina strains to make that work, but can't. "It's important how I feel about the dream. How I feel about the color."
Travis continues, almost desperate to find a solution for her. "There are black colors in the dream. The casket. Kenrick's clothes. What does black mean? Emptiness? Hopelessness?"
"Yes, I think so." She replies, her voice distant, lost in feeling her experience. "That feels right. When I think about the dress, how do I feel? Like I'm burying marriage. My chances for having a husband are going. I'm lonely for companionship."
Travis puts his hand over hers, comfortingly. Gina sits looking at the casket and the image of her wedding gown appears.
Kenrick stands beside the casket.
"It's too late, Gina. Too late."
The casket is lowered into the ground. As Gina sits looking at the image she says:
"But I'm not dead yet!"
DISSOLVEGina and Travis are still sitting and staring at an image, which is now of a wedding. They are holding hands and sitting close together. The image changes to a bride and groom kissing. Travis kisses Gina on the cheek. She kisses him back on the lips. Travis kisses her on the lips and lingers. She pushes him away and lays down. He lays down next to her. She smiles knowingly and puts her hand on his chest keeping him away.
"Just one more," Travis asks.
She shakes her head no, serious, but teasing with her smile.
"Please," he pleads.
She allows him to kiss her, then pushes him away, but he is still close.
"Not fair, that wasn't long enough."
She smiles and gives in. Travis kisses her at length. The two entwine and stroke each other sensuously. Finally Gina stops them and pushes them apart.
"Come on, Gina, you're lonely. What would it hurt. After all, I know how to satisfy a woman like she's never been satisfied before."
Gina shakes her head no, but Travis leans into her again and kisses her again. He begins to push her clothes off. She pulls hem back on, at first playfully, then helps take them off and begins undressing him. Soon they are fully disrobed. She leans back, nude, and waves her finger at him.
"No, no, no, we can't do this. You're learning to resist and I have vowed to stay chaste." She smiles seductively at him.
Travis drags himself to her feet. He kisses her toes then pulls himself forward and kisses her calves.
"Look but don't touch," she scolds playfully.
Travis continues to her knees, then thighs.
"You can't seduce me, Travis, I can resist."
Travis kisses to her abdomen until he is laying on top of her. She begins to ravish him.
DISSOLVEThey are making love and Gina is nearing a climax.
Suddenly we are in Gina's bedroom.
Gina sits up in bed, gasping for air. "Nooooo! Damn it, no! Not with Travis."
She calms and takes her tape recorder from the stand by her bed and talks into it.
"I am so mad at myself. I pretended in my dream that I couldn't resist Travis and I let him have me. I am soooo damned self indulgent."
Next: 7 Despair