5th Street: A TV Series

Pages 3-12 of the teleplay. Bobby Ray is a thirty-something boxer waking up from a coma after having just lost a brutal fight that nearly cost him his life.

FADE IN ON
INT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. – DAY
We see Bobby Ray’s face. He is lying in bed in his apartment in the Bronx. One eye is partially swollen, his face is healing. He’s wearing a neck brace. His neck has a minor fracture. He’s smoking, thinking.

MANAGER (V.O.)
You can’t fight no more, Bobby Ray. Doc says one more good punch to the head and you’re gone. Dead.

BOBBY RAY (V.O)
What ‘bout my shot at the title?

MANAGER (V.O.)
That punch did more damage than I thought. Did you hear me, son? You’re out of the running. You’re a one punch has been.

BOBBY RAY (V.O.)
Where you goin’?

MANAGER (V.O.)
I’m getting out of here. I only stopped by to tell you it’s over. I’m no longer your manager. I’m lookin’ for a fighter who can take a punch.

BOBBY RAY (V.O.)
You can’t just leave me like this?

MANAGER (V.O.)
Yeah I can. Here’s your cut.

BOBBY RAY (V.O.)
What’s this?

MANAGER (V.O.)
Not much. Good luck, kid.

The SOUND of a door is heard slamming shut.

FADE OUT.
FADE IN ON

INT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. – DAY
Bobby Ray is sitting at a table in a cheap run-down apartment in the Bronx. He’s wearing a white tank top, boxers. He’s smoking and looking at the small pile of crumpled up tens and twenties on the table. He picks up a few of the bills, looks at them and lets them fall back to the table, one-by-one. He closes his eyes and runs his hands through his greasy black hair. He opens his eyes and stops.

The open window. The thin curtains are drawn outside by a passing breeze.

He pauses, gets up with some effort and starts for the window.

He steps up to the window and looks out.

He sees a desolate, gray, dirty neighborhood. The only thing of color is his ’59 pink Caddy convertible. Its top is up, the windows closed tight.

Bobby Ray sucks off the cigarette and looks up and around at the neighborhood. He pauses and then looks back at his Caddy. A slight smile breaks across his face and disappears. He puts his bare foot on the windowsill, pulls himself up and sits down, his legs dangling out over the side. Someone knocks on the door. He takes a slow drag on the cigarette.

BOBBY RAY
Yeah?

GUIDO (V.O.)
Bobby Ray?

BOBBY RAY
Yeah?

GUIDO (V.O.)
May I have a word with you? Your manager sent us over.

BOBBY RAY
I don’t have a manager.

GUIDO (V.O.)
Sure you do. He says we might be able to do some business.

Bobby Ray finds it amusing. He can’t believe the timing.

BOBBY RAY
Wait a minute.

He pulls his legs back in, turns and walks over to the door.

Bobby Ray is talking as he unlocks the door.

BOBBY RAY
What kind of business?

As soon as Bobby Ray unlocks the door, two big well-dressed mob enforcers push their way in.

GUIDO
The kind of business where you pay us for losing the fight.

BOBBY RAY
What’re you talking about?

GUIDO
(pushing Bobby)
Your manager screwed us royally when we invested in your career. We can’t find him, but we got you and you owe us big time.

BOBBY RAY
I don’t know what the hell you’re taking about.

GUIDO
Mr. Ray, we don’t care. We just want our money.

Bobby Ray sighs, shakes his head and says:

BOBBY RAY
And how much would that be?

GUIDO
Can you say two million dollars?

BOBBY RAY
( laughing)
Two million dollars? Are you kidding me?

GUIDO
Do I look like I’m the kind of guy who kids around?

BOBBY RAY
No, no you don’t. I’m sorry, I didn’t’ get your name.

GUIDO
It’s Guido.

BOBBY RAY
Guido? Are you kidding me?

GUIDO
Do you think something is funny?

BOBBY RAY
I’m sorry, Guido, but the only money I have is sitting on that table. It ain’t much but it’s all I got.

Guido looks at the table. His partner goes over, grabs it up and starts to count it. While he counts, Guido gives Bobby Ray the once over.

MARIO
One hundred and fifty-five dollars.

GUIDO
Now, are you kidding me, Mr. Ray?

BOBBY RAY
I wish I was. It’s all I got. And talk about bad timing. There is nothing you can do to me to get that money.

GUIDO
(as Mario walks up behind him)
And why is that, Mr. Ray?

BOBBY RAY
‘Cause I was just about to jump out that window.

Guido and Mario pause.

GUIDO
I’m sure you were.

BOBBY RAY
Hey, don’t believe me. I’m goin’ out in style.

Bobby Ray runs toward the window.

Guido and Mario catch themselves and run after him.

EXT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. – DAY
Guido and Mario grab Bobby Ray just as he is about to leap from the window. He struggles to get away but he is too weak. They pull him back in.

INT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. – DAY
Bobby Ray crashes against the floor and grabs his neck brace. He’s in a whole lot of pain.

BOBBY RAY
Why the hell did you do that?

Guido and Mario are out of breath. Guido is wiping his brow with a silk handkerchief.

GUIDO
Are you crazy or something?

Bobby Ray is thrashing about on the floor.

BOBBY RAY
What do you think?

Guido pauses, looks at Mario. Mario shrugs. Guido’s got himself a problem. He whips out a cell phone, dials a number.

GUIDO
Boss?..Guido. I got a problem here...He only has one-hundred-and-fifty-five bucks and he just tried to kill himself...Tried to jump out a window...Couple stories...Don’t kill him?

Bobby Ray stops thrashing to listen.

GUIDO (O.S.)
How ‘bout I break his hand?

Bobby Ray lifts a concerned eyebrow.

GUIDO (O.S.)
What career?

Bobby Ray sadly shakes his head.

Guido turns from the phone.

GUIDO
What’s your phone number?

Bobby Ray groans.

BOBBY RAY
Hell, I don’t know. I’ve been in a freakin’ coma.

Guido turns back to the phone.

GUIDO
He doesn’t know it.
( pauses)
Okay, let me look.

Guido walks over to the phone sitting on the table and reads the number.

GUIDO
212-555-6140...All right. You got it, boss.

Guido flips his phone back up, sticks it inside his suit jacket and walks over to Bobby Ray.

Bobby Ray pulls his legs in expecting the worse.

Guido instead bends down and lifts Bobby Ray to his feet.

GUIDO
Mr. Ray, my boss says I can’t hurt you. Yet. You can keep the money. He wants you to fight one more time.

BOBBY RAY
You gotta be kidding! Do you see this neck brace? I almost broke my neck! I can’t fight anymore!

GUIDO
Rest up, Mr. Ray. My boss said you’ll be well compensated for your efforts. He’s gonna call you back. So don’t do anything foolish.

He motions to Mario. Mario throws the money back down on the table. When they get to the door, Guido turns and with the straightest of faces says:

GUIDO
Like my mother use to say, Mr. Ray, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We’ll be in touch.

Guido closes the door behind him.

Bobby Ray pauses for a second and then breaks out laughing-- until the pain in the back of his neck brings it to a screeching halt. He nearly collapses. As he spins around, he sees something on the floor.

It’s his cigarette.

He stumbles over to it, picks it up and takes a drag. He almost chokes. He staggers over to the open window, pauses, and then throws the cigarette out into the air.

The cigarette floats slowly down toward the Caddy.

EXT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. - DAY
The cigarette lands on the canvass top and starts to burn through.

Bobby Ray shakes his head and smiles. As he lifts a leg and steps onto the windowsill, the phone rings. He pauses, sighs and decides to answer the phone. He steps back down and walks over to the phone on the table. He picks it up and walks back over to the window.

BOBBY RAY
Look, whoever you are, I’m not fighting anymore. You got that?

DIEGO (V.O.)
Yeah, I got it.

Bobby Ray pauses for a moment before stepping back onto the windowsill.

BOBBY RAY
So what are you going to do about it?

DIEGO (V.O.)
Nothin’. I’m glad you’re giving it up.

BOBBY RAY
Hey, who is this?

DIEGO (V.O.)
Diego Sanchez.

Bobby Ray pauses for a moment. He is now sitting on the windowsill, his feet dangling over the side.

BOBBY RAY
Diego Sanchez?

INT. 5TH STREET GYM – DAY
DIEGO “DYNAMITE” SANCHEZ is on the other end of the line in his second floor office. In his 50’s, Diego is a one time Welterweight champion who quit boxing when he killed a man in the ring. But he couldn’t quit the game. He became a manager of a whole new generation of boxers who were to change the face of boxing. Some became champions but every one of them became warrior-poets under his tutelage. His success and fame afforded him the opportunity to buy the legendary 5th Street Gym in South Beach. Most of this information is displayed on the office walls in framed news, photo stories, and pictures of him shaking famous hands, etc. Since the door is usually left open in his office, Diego has to shout over the sounds of the gym.

DIEGO
Can you hear me?

BOBBY RAY (V.O.)
Yeah, I hear you. Why you callin’ me?

DIEGO
I’ve been trying to get you since last month’s fight. Until yesterday, no one could find you or your sad excuse for a manager. How you doin’?

EXT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. - DAY

BOBBY RAY
I’ve had better days. How’d you find me?

DIEGO (V.O.)
Someone I know spotted your Caddy.

Bobby Ray looks down.

The fire is getting bigger.

Bobby Ray is still looking down at the Caddy as smoke wafts upward.

DIEGO (V.O.)
I just want to congratulate you on a great fight.

BOBBY RAY
I think you got the wrong guy. I lost that fight.

INT. 5TH STREET GYM – DAY

DIEGO
No you didn’t, kid. You went down like a champion. Champions don’t give up and neither did you.

BOBBY RAY (V.O.)
Mr. Sanchez, I appreciate you callin’ me, but you caught me at a bad time.

DIEGO
I want you to come down and work for me.

EXT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. – DAY

Bobby Ray has to pause.

BOBBY RAY
You want me to what?

DIEGO (V.O.)
Work for me. I heard you got dumped by that good-for-nothin’ manager; thought you might want a little R&R down here.

INT. 5TH STREET GYM – DAY

DIEGO
I’ll start you out slowly. You can soak up some rays, maybe get reacquainted with someone who’s been askin’ ‘bout you.

Diego looks up.

BOBBY RAY (V.O.)
Who’s that?

DIEGO (O.S.)
I’m looking at her right now.

ANNA SANCHEZ is Diego’s twenty-something daughter. We see her from the second floor window. She’s talking to some young kids on the sidewalk just outside the gym.

EXT. BOBBY RAY’S BRONX APT. – DAY

BOBBY RAY
You gotta help me here, Diego?

DIEGO (O.S.)
My daughter, Anna. Remember her?

BOBBY RAY
Anna?

Smoke billows up into the shot. Bobby Ray looks down.

Flames and smoke are now leaping off the ragtop, nipping at his bare feet.

Bobby Ray almost loses his balance.

But his free hand grabs the side of the window.

He looks at his hand and turns away. He realizes he doesn’t really want to die.

BOBBY RAY
Diego, I’ll see you in a couple of days.

He grabs his bare feet and blows on them, which causes him to lose his balance and fall backward into the apartment.

BOBBY RAY (O.S.)
( wailing)
Oh, puhlease..!

A moment passes before he struggles to his feet, hobbles over to the table and hangs up the phone. It starts ringing. He picks up the money that was left behind, grabs his pants and shoes and limps out the door without bothering to close it. By this time, the smoke is blowing thickly outside the window. You can hear the crackling fire lunching on prime 50’s glory while the phone keeps ringing.
FADE OUT.
MUSIC RISES: (Swing Low Sweet Cadillac by Arturo Sandoval and Dizzy Gillespie).

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FADE IN ON
EXT. AERIAL MACARTHUR CSWY. MIAMI BEACH – DAY
CREDITS RISE.

Bobby Ray, unshaven and unkempt, is tooling down the causeway with the top down. It wouldn’t do him any good to have it up. The only thing left of it is its scorched frame. The pink paint job is blackened around the rear seat and trunk. Behind him across the water is the stunning downtown Miami skyline. He unbuckles his neck brace and throws it back over the Caddy.

EXT. MACARTHUR CSWY. - DAY
The neck brace rolls across the median and down to the water’s edge.