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ACT II (cont...)

VALDOFF: No entendi…

[VALDOFF turns to leave.]

JOHN: [Stopping him.] Valdoff before you leave to destroy Earth—I think you should know I have something in my pocket.

VALDOFF: Pocket?

JOHN: Something I believe you may find intersante.

VALDOFF: Pardon?

JOHN: An opportunity—that if utilized could change your history. [VALDOFF scoffs and turns to leave.] You'll be a hero. [VALDOFF stops and turns around.]

DAD: Beautiful.

SMITTY: That's tough nuts boy!

JOHN: [Taking out keys.] Greg, I want you to go to my car and get me the attaché case that is in my trunk.

GREG: [Putting on a nice show.] I'm sorry john. Can't do that.


GREG: I can't allow you to just—give those away. That's expensive product.

JOHN: Greg! Come here…

BABE: Oh my God—It's good cop-bad cop.

JOHN: [To GREG:] This would be a trade see—for the Earth!

GREG: Just Earth. That's it?

JOHN: He has the power…

GREG: It would have to be the whole Earth. Not half the Earth…

JOHN: Of course. Look, I'll take the heat.

GREG: That's right- ‘cause you're on your own. He's getting a good deal—I can't be part of this. [Takes the keys.] You're gonna catch hell for this one buddy! [He exits.]

[SALESMEN applaud.]

JOHN: Sorry. [Indicating GREG.] He gets a little uptight. Company man. SO Valdoff…

DICK: Goll darnit take your time, build up is important. If you're too tight he'll think something's wrong.

[DICK slowly disappears.]

JOHN: [To VALDOFF:] Are you in a hurry at all? Please, come, sit—take a load off.

[VALDOFF crosses to him and they sit.]

SMITTY: Gain an affinity. What are his interests? Like what the customer likes. Bond. James Bond.

[SMITTY slowly disappears.]

JOHN: Beautiful night tonight- I've always enjoyed looking at the stars. Space.

BABE: No you haven't

[DAD shushes her. SHELLY begins to enter with her IV stand.]

JOHN: You get to see them all the time. I'm jealous.

BABE: Oh, get me a shovel.

SHELLY: Take off your mask Johnny.

JOHN: I never usually get to see the nice places of the planet—like this.

SHELLY: Listen Johnny. Just… listen.

VALDOFF: Um… easy not…explain…

JOHN: That's alright. Language is very difficult. You know I…

SHELLY: You're hearing, but you're not listening. Just. Be. Quiet.

VALDOFF: I…we… don't like you. But we do… admire you. We admire you…you…

JOHN: Guts. Determination. Infallibility?

VALDOFF: Tobacco leaf. Marijuana. Poppy. Coca.

JOHN: Hm. [He takes out a cigarette.] Try this. Like a cigar. Only you inhale.

[They light up. VALDOFF enjoys. SHELLY slowly disappears.]

DAD: Atta boy.

BABE: You don't want to do this John.

VALDOFF: [After a coughing fit he smiles.] Claro que si! Bueno! I like John!

JOHN: Now try this. [He pulls out a pair of eyeglasses.] OUR vision enhancers.


JOHN: It's hard to work with one hand Valdoff. [Putting glasses on VALDOFF.] Without these, producing drugs on our planet would be very slow.

BABE: [Out of breath, stumbling.] John you're becoming what you don't want to be! This will be your job for life! What about the money! Remember the beach! You need to get that house!

DAD: Why?

BABE: So he'll wish I was there!… I don't feel too good.

DAD: I… I believe he's getting over you.

VALDOFF: Vision! With both hands! Do you have more?

GREG: [Entering and slamming down attaché cases.] Here they are! Against my good wishes.

VALDOFF: Bueno! Bueno! I shall NOT destroy the Earth! Must get eyewear home! My friends. Can I do anything more?!

GREG: Yes! Yes you can. [A beat.] I want to go with you.

VALDOFF: Come. Take the frames. You come too Juan?

BABE: He's a fraud! Grab the frames and run! Invest them in my real estate business, we could work together! [Approaching JOHN.] Could still see each other, you and me, it would be so comfortable.

JOHN: Does this have anything to do with pie and cake?

GREG: No, this has nothing to do with pie and cake.

VALDOFF: Is that like a cookie?

GREG: What do you say John? Eyes on the skies? Answer those questions?

[BERT enters now in Northwest attire and begins setting up a beach scene with a towel and umbrella. We see the beach and seagulls. JOHN sees her.]

JOHN: No. Thanks anyway. I'm gonna stay here. You guys go ahead.

GREG: [Extending a hand.] Good-bye John.

VALDOFF: Gracias

[VALDOFF and GREG pick up the cases and cross to a position on the stage and look at the sky smiling and they slowly disappear.]

BABE: Congratulations. You purged your soul—but you lost your dream. Perhaps people like us weren't meant to look at the sky. We get dizzy.

[She kisses him and exits. JOHN sees his father.]

DAD : Nice sale boy. Made me proud.

[He sees JOHN is now watching BERT. He realizes he must leave.]

DAD: Atta boy. Atta boy.

[JOHN crosses to BERT at the beach scene and they kiss, then JOHN begins writing in a notebook.]

BERT: Survival Guide for Salespersons—Last Chapter. Success in sales above all takes talent. But talent cannot be taught. A sale truly is an art form. It can be as beautiful as an artist's brush stroke or a gravity defying behind the back one-handed slam-dunk. [She pantomimes a dunk unsuccessfully.] But you either got it or you don't. You can't be the person you're not. You can't become anybody. It's merely for us to discover where our talents lie—and if they don't lie in sales: please for God's sake don't do it. Don't even try. Get out. You'll suck. [JOHN has handed her his notepad. She reads.] Aliens?

JOHN: What do ya think?

[BERT kisses him. A cell phone ring. JOHN answers. Light on Shelly.]

SHELLY: Hi kids! How's the new house?

JOHN: Hi Shelly! Actually we're doing some repairs right now.

SHELLY: Sure you are. I can hear the beach!

JOHN: You must be feeling better!

SHELLY: You want to know a secret? I just heard from a nurse at the ER who pumped the pills out of my stomach? And she said, it was the strangest thing, they never found any alcohol. None in my system at all. Just a lot of water can you believe it?

JOHN: What's this mean?

SHELLY: It means some cheap alcoholic ripping off hotel vodka practically saved my life! [JOHN spits up his coffee.] Someone wants me around. Anyway, you can just tell Bert we're one more payment away from being current with Babe Dupree!

JOHN: Really? Already?

SHELLY: I know! Isn't that fabulous?

JOHN: That's great Shelly it really is. How did you do that?

SHELLY: Well from the sale of your frames.

JOHN: What?

SHELLY: From when Beatrice sold your frames.

JOHN: [Twitching again.] Sale of – Oh yes, of course, how could I have forgotten.

[A dog barking.]

BERT: That's right Valdoff—you get those seagulls! Arf! Arf!

SHELLY: Gosh John love ya gotta go bye! [Lights out on SHELLY.]

[JOHN approaches BERT.]

JOHN: Hon.

BERT: Yes?

JOHN: The liquidation of my father's business…

BERT: Yes?

JOHN: Did it really pay for this house?

BERT: [A beat.] No.

JOHN: You—you said it did.

BERT: HA! [Laughs. Then serious.] I lied.

JOHN: How did you get my frames?

BRET: [Coming clean.] I'm the one who stole them out of your trunk in Phoenix.

JOHN: You what?

BERT: Sorry.

JOHN: But the case.

BERT: The sample case? I left the case. They're probably still back there with the Limpkin's.


BERT: I told you I could push it to 20 grand. I put ten on the house, the other ten I gave to Babe. And statute-shamute—Why else you think Shelly made me a partner? Hey, I know stable and I know unstable and that asshole you were with at the club was definitely unstable…

JOHN: What did you put in the case?

BERT: Why?

JOHN: They were heavy! What did you put in those cases?

BERT: Well you know all that Limpkin's in the back of your car…? [JOHN's eye begins twitching heavily now. He emits a worried groan, looking at the sky.] Yep. Limpkin's Deck Seal. [We hear Darth Vader's theme music.] What're you looking at the sky for?

JOHN: Oh Christ.

[BERT comes to him and holds him. After a moment, he returns her embrace. She turns his head away from the sky and kisses him. The music fades. The sound of breathing. Lights begin to fade. While kissing BERT, JOHN takes a quick look at the sky again. A sudden gasp.]



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Copyright © 2004 by Nick Zagone

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