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8
PRIEST OF SALES
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1998, Dorian Scott Cole
Reality
 

INT. KENRICK'S OFFICE - DAY

Kenrick is seated behind his desk. Margo and TROY HAMMERSTEIN are seated in front of the desk. Kenrick is holding a piece of paper.

 
KENRICK
I have here, Arabella's resignation.

I'll read it to you. Dear Mr. 

Kenrick; I refuse to work for an

organization where you fuck your 

way to the top. I quit. Arabella.

Margo looks embarrassed. 
 
TROY
She'll never work in Washington DC.
 
 
KENRICK
I believe this involves two of my

top people. I wanted to find out 

from you if there is any truth to

it. Margo, you've been asking to 

see me for a week. 
 
 

MARGO
The staff is becoming very 

demoralized. Frankly everyone is

working way too much and tempers 

are ready to flare.
 
 

KENRICK
Life is hard. Now about this 

situation with Arabella, what do 

you know?
 
 

MARGO
Gina and Travis are seeing each 

other. Everyone knows about it, 

but they both claim it is only as

friends. 
 
 

KENRICK
Well, are they friends or friends

and lovers?
 
 

MARGO
I know for a fact they aren't 

having sexual relations - and I 

shouldn't tell you that because I'm

a doctor and I've been given their

confidence. 

But on the other hand, it looks

very suspicious. Even Tracy has 

quit seeing Travis because she 

thinks there is something between

them. But the fact is, they are

good for each other.
 
 

KENRICK
(Sighs)
So I suppose Tracy is unhappy, too?

Where does this end? Gina can't 

keep her personal life separate and

it tears Hell out of an organization.

Troy, I know you've only been 
with us for a week, but as training

manager, you're in a position to 

respond to these people.
 
 

TROY
I don't want to bite Gina, she 

hired me, but I have to ask a 

question. How can you expand 

an organization and build it up if 

your people are demoralized and 

quitting? That's not a recipe for

growth, it's disaster - you could

end up with several clubs failing.
 
 

KENRICK
All right, all right, you make too

much sense. I can't afford to lose

my top people today. I'll talk to 

them. You two go on, I have other

problems to solve.
 
 

After the two leave, Kenrick presses the intercom.
 
KENRICK
Janet, remind me to not make any

more rules, people just break them.

Send Jordan Wells in please.
 
 

DISSOLVE

Jordan Wells enters. Kenrick waves him to a chair.

 
KENRICK
Profits are way down, Jordan. Now

this.

Kenrick hands him a piece of paper.
 
JORDAN
Arabella? I'm really sorry to 

lose her, she had a whale of a lot

of potential.
 
 

KENRICK
We're losing control here, Jordan.

She's going to the competition.
 
 

Kenrick hands him another piece of paper.
 
JORDAN
John, too? 
 
 
KENRICK
That came yesterday. Competition

is opening a club in the same town.

(Beat)
Competition's advertising looks

really sharp. It's intensive. They

offer a package that cuts our price

by twenty five percent. 
 
 

JORDAN
I know.
 
 
KENRICK
I know you know. If you couldn't

keep track of the competition, I

wouldn't have made you Director.

Question is, what are you doing

about it?
 
 

JORDAN
We can't put together the advertising

budget they have, but we're doing a 

Hell of a job with alternatives.
 
 

KENRICK
Well, I think I know where we can

scrape up another fifty two thousand

for advertising. That's about what

your salary is, isn't it?
 
 

JORDAN
What are you saying?
 
 
KENRICK
Your responsible. You failed.
Kenrick hands him a paper sword.
 
KENRICK (Cont.)
The honorable thing to do is

fall on your sword. 

Or be dishonorable and wait 

until I reorganize you out if

you don't mind the uncomfortable

atmosphere.
 
 

Jordan stands and walks toward the door.
 
JORDAN
I wouldn't want to get any blood 

on your carpet.
 
 

KENRICK
Good luck, Jordan.
Jordan leaves and Kenrick presses the intercom.
 
KENRICK
Janet, are Gina and Travis here yet?
 
 
JANET (V.O.)
They're in their offices.
 
 
KENRICK
Get them in here, please.
 
 
DISSOLVE
 
Gina and Travis are seated. Kenrick is pacing the floor.
 
KENRICK
Gina, help me understand something.

You and Mark shook this organization

like a leaf in a hail storm two 

years ago. Didn't that little 

experience make you the least bit

sensitive to mixing your personal

life with business?
 
 

GINA
Of course.
 
 
KENRICK
Thanks to you two, I've lost 

Arabella, John, and Jordan Wells. 

My medical department and half the

organization are unhappy and ready

to quit. Now how am I supposed to 

congratulate you two for this 

accomplishment?

(Beat)
You two want to fuck, you meet in

Mexico on the weekend - 
 
 

GINA
We're not having relations.
 
 
KENRICK
But it looks to the entire world 

like you are, and if that's what it

looks like then that's reality -

you're fucking and it's come to my

attention. 
 
 

Travis and Gina become very uncomfortable as Kenrick stares at them.
KENRICK

You're two of my best people. I 

can't afford to lose either one of

you, so my problem is, what do I 

do? I can't trust either of you 

to be discreet, so this is the way

it's going to be.

Forget your personal life, we're 

losing our clubs. I'm giving both 

of you Jordan's workload. You both 

pick up your own advertising and 

budgeting responsibilities. If you

get a moment of free time, let me

know and I'll find a way to fill it.

Now get out of my office before I

do what I should and fire both of 

you.
 
 

INT. LOUNGE - NIGHT

Travis is sitting in a booth alone, in a nearly empty bar, mumbling to the wall. A waiter walks over to him carrying a bottle on a tray.

 
WAITER
Look, Buddy, you want to drown 

yourself, there's a faster way to

do it than one drink at a time.
 
 

Travis reaches for the bottle. The waiter holds it back.
 
WAITER
Do you have a ride home?
 
 
TRAVIS
I'm shtayin' up stairs.... maybe.
 
 
WAITER
I have to know for sure. It's the

law.
 
 

Travis is still reaching for the bottle.
 
TRAVIS
Yeah, yeah. I'll be good, I won't

get you in trouble. 

(Straightens up)
See, I'm sober.
 
 
WAITER
You're so smashed you're already 

unsafe. Give me your keys.
 
 

TRAVIS
Give me the beer. Even trade. And

don't forget the shot of whiskey.
 
 

The bartender/waiter beckons for the keys. Travis puts them on the tray and takes the beer and immediately takes a big drink. The waiter leaves.
 
TRAVIS
And so, Mr. Kenrick. I keep seeing

you go in the rest room. I know

what you do in there. Perception

is reality. You're jacking off. 

Six times a day, you do it. I think

I'll tell everyone I know. Maybe

you should fire yourself. Personal

sex with company property. 
 
 

The waiter goes to a woman sitting on a bar stool. She is dressed in a scanty evening gown. She is a hooker looking for a trick, but not blatantly. The waiter points to Travis, holds up his keys and pockets them. The woman looks around the bar, seeing no one, checks the time, shrugs and walks over to Travis.
 
WOMAN
Mind if I join you?
 
 
Travis' head wobbles around to see her. He seems to like what he sees and stabilizes his head with one hand. He waves her to a seat with the other hand, spilling beer all over the table. The woman winces and sits down.
 
TRAVIS
If you don't mind two of me. I'm

seeing double, you know, and two of

you is delightful.
 
 

WOMAN
You're alone?
 
 
She wipes the beer from the seat and the table.
 
TRAVIS
As alone as I can get. My girl

friend left me. My boss won't let

me see my other girl and he 

threatened to fire me if I stayed 

in his office even a minute longer.

Three people quit because of me and

the rest hate my guts. 
 
 

WOMAN
What did you do?
 
 
TRAVIS
I'm not telling you. You'll hate

me too.
 
 

WOMAN
I won't hate you. Whatever it is

you've done doesn't affect me.
 
 

TRAVIS
Oh, well, you're OK then. Well,

you see, I was too good. I was the

best sales person and the best 

manager, and the best in bed. So I

was like a god, so they hate me.

You see, if you become like a 
god, you have to be very careful 

what you do, because they're all 

watching you to see if you screw up.

You see, people don't like you

if you're too good. They're 

jealous. 

You see, they're just peons and
if you let them know that then they

think you stink because you're too

good. See?
 
 

She is resting her chin on her crossed hands, staring at him intently. 
 
WOMAN
Just what is it you do?
 
 
TRAVIS
I'm in a glamour profession. I

set up glamour clubs and I'm the 

manager and I guess a director.
 
 

WOMAN
Wow. I would like to do something

like that. Why don't I take you

upstairs, we can have some more

drinks and you can tell me more.
 
 

TRAVIS
Wait. I think I might still be

chaste. 

Can I chase you?
Travis smiles at her and passes out on the table. The woman shakes him awake. With his chin on the table he peers at her.
 
TRAVIS
Do I know you? Oh, yeah, you're 

that delicious lady that was here

before I dozed off. What we're

we talking about? Oh, yeah, you're 

to be in sales. I'm tired. I work 

twenty hours a day and now I have 

to work twenty four. My girl 

friend, the one I can't see

anymore, is a priest. We do 

mystical things together. 
 
 

WOMAN
So, are we going upstairs or not?
 
 
TRAVIS
I got that far already? I forgot.

Yeah, if I already arranged it, 

let's just do it.
 
 

They walk toward the door, the woman supporting him. 
 
TRAVIS
You don't think I'm too drunk? 
 
 
WOMAN
We can find out.
 
 
TRAVIS
I never leave a woman unsatisfied.
 
 
WOMAN
I can't wait.
 
 
The bartender takes the car keys to the lobby.
 
INT. GINA'S OFFICE - DAY

Gina hurriedly picks up papers from the desk, then her jacket from a hanger, and heads for the door. Travis walks in.

 
GINA
We thought you we're gone for good.

It's been three days.
 
 

TRAVIS
I was sick. Couldn't see a thing,

hardly know where I've been.
 
 

GINA
Three day drunks are like that.

What was her name?
 
 

TRAVIS
I don't know. France, Francine,

something like that.
 
 

GINA
I don't think we should talk. I

think we should just.... cool it.

Frankly, it was too hot for me to

handle anyway.
 
 

TRAVIS
Yeah, hey, look, I want to apologize.
 
 
GINA
What for, being my friend? No one

has to apologize for that.
 
 

TRAVIS
You helped me a lot, Gina. It's

thanks to you I still have a job 

instead of a problem. But you know,

I let it go to my head.
 
 

GINA
Don't we all.
 
 
TRAVIS
No, you don't. And you tried to

tell me but I wouldn't listen. I

thought once I got a handle on my

self esteem, all I had to do was

build it. What a fool!

I let my pride just swell up 

like a monster, and I pissed off

Arabella, and probably John, and 

who knows who all - and then I even

destroyed myself. Here I am ignoring

an important job and coming in off

a three day drunk with a hooker.

I spent most of the last three

days blaming all of them. Today I 

woke up and realized it was me. 

All I ever did for them is try to 

make them realize how great I am. 

Well, now we all know.
 
 

GINA
Don't blame yourself too much, I

shook the branches once again.

Hey, you know what? You pump

that ego balloon up, there's always

something going to come along and

pop it. So don't worry, it will

never lift any of us off the 

ground.

Gina touches his arm, they exchange smiles and she leaves.
 
ESTABLISH SHOT: BEAU MONDE OF NICHOLASVILLE

INT. MARK'S BEAU MONDE CLUB - DAY

Mark is in the beauty salon looking at a broken chair. Travis walks in.

 
MARK
This is three failures in three

weeks. Things are falling apart

around here. Order another one.
 
 

Mark shuts the switch off and shrugs. He turns and sees Travis. 
 
MARK
OK, so now I've seen a ghost. 

What's next, God?
 
 

TRAVIS
Hello, Mark.
 
 
MARK
Just don't call me love.
 
 
Mark leads through the atrium toward his office. 
 
TRAVIS
How have you been?
 
 
MARK
I'm more tired than I've been in

all my life. I feel sick. My 

joints are getting stiff. My 

muscles hurt. My brain feels like

its dead - I just can't think.
 
 

TRAVIS
Have you seen a doctor?
 
 
MARK
Yep. Nothing is internally wrong.

But everything is wrong. So, aren't

you glad you asked?
 
 

TRAVIS
Mark, I want to help. What can I do?
 
 
MARK
You know as well as I do that no

one stays in this organization past

thirty. You live to be thirty and 

you die, that's it. I'm four years

past dead now, so I'm living on

borrowed time.
 
 

TRAVIS
You're a good manager, Mark. Have

you considered depression, burnout?
 
 

MARK
Yes, but they don't appeal to me, 

it's enough just being worked to

death.
 
 

Both laugh.
 
MARK
Travis, you're almost my age, and

here you are finding new mountains

to climb. For me it's different, 

what do I have to look forward to?
 
 

Travis starts to reply, but Mark holds up his hand.
 
MARK
You see, I've already had the best.

Now what is there?! You know, I've

had a really great career in a

glamour industry. I slept with the

best woman on earth. And now, it's

fading away from me. 

I know, you're going to say I

can still go into science. That's

B.S. My brain has turned to 

cement. I don't have it anymore.
 
 

TRAVIS
Mark, you talk like your eighty

years old - maybe a hundred. You

need a sabbatical - time to rest and

put yourself together again.
 
 

MARK
Is that what you came to tell me?

You're putting me on sabbatical.
 
 

TRAVIS
NO! Damn it, Mark, I'm here to 

try and patch up whatever friendship

we can save. For the last time,

I'm not Gina's lover, I've never

slept with the woman, and I can't

even see her now. If I'm somehow

making you depressed, forget it.
 
 

Mark dismisses that comment with a wave of his hand.
 
MARK
I'm losing sales. Things get worse

every day. I'm fighting for my

life here, and I'm losing.
 
 

TRAVIS
I never slept with her. 
(beat)
It makes you feel good to be on top,

doesn't it? To have it all. To be

just a little better than everyone

else. You and I, we're both the

same, we're not really any different.

I know, because that's the way I 

was thinking. And it feels bad to

lose it, doesn't it?
 
 

MARK
You know it.
 
 
TRAVIS
Maybe that's something we can't 

change in ourselves. But I'm trying.

Because I realized, I'm not any 

better than anyone else. You and I,

we each have our roles. 
 
 

MARK
That's easy to say. You haven't 

lost Gina yet.
 
 

TRAVIS
I never really had Gina. She's her

own. She chooses not to allow sex

to dominate her life.
 
 

MARK
Gina is beyond me to understand.
 
 
TRAVIS
It's true, anyway.
 
 
MARK
Suppose it is true, where does 

that leave me? What the Hell do I

have to live for?
 
 

TRAVIS
If you're looking for mountains, 

maybe on the plains. I don't know,

I still think that's up to you.
 
 

MARK
It's hard to live without mountains.

To never be able to stand at the 

top and see everything in all 

directions.

 

TRAVIS

Gina and I both have big mountain

ranges we're working on. Both of

us need people like yourself who

can climb a mountain. If you're 

interested.
 
 

MARK
I've been King. I don't know if I

want to be King's adviser.
 
 

TRAVIS
Mark, stop. You've turned an

opportunity into a negative.

(Beat)
You're right, Mark, maybe I can't

find a bigger mountain for you to

climb. I can't make a scientist of

you. I can't put you and Gina 

together again. Maybe you can't

do it either. But somehow I have

to believe that your life isn't over

any more than it is for any of the

rest of us. Mountaintop experiences

only last for a few moments. Life

goes on. We have things we are 

interested in to explore. We have

friends who care about us and depend

on us - relationships that we need

to nurture and build. We have 

roles in life that are probably 

much more important than mountain-

tops. The mountaintops probably

dwarf in comparison. The quality

of our lives isn't in the goals we

set or in the mountains, but in 

living our lives, living moment to

moment and enjoying everything that

comes into our lives. Doing the

most with those things. When we 

look back at our lives, are you or

I going to feel better that we set

a new sales record or designed a

better widget?

Mark, I think you have the people

and things around you to make your

own happiness.

Mark opens his mouth to speak, but the words won't come. Hewaits a moment. 
 
MARK
You're right. I wish I had seen

it myself, but you're right. I've

been too resentful over what I've

lost to see what I've gained. It's

hard when you've been blinded by

the glitter at the top. 

Mark gives Travis a friendly punch on the shoulder.
 
MARK (Cont.)
You're OK.
 
 
TRAVIS
We need you. If it would make you

happy, Mark, come help us expand.

It would keep you busy and out of

trouble.

Next: 9 Crisis


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