Freudian Slips: The Looking Glass

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

May 23, 2006

The Looking Glass

In the 1980’s, I worked at an antiquated institution that housed behaviorally involved individuals behind locked doors. The long commute coupled with the physically and mentally taxing work ran its course after a couple of years. I found employment closer to home at another antiquated institution. Filled with the smell of “the grass is greener” philosophy, I looked forward to starting my new job.
On my lunch break, I started walking to the commissary for a bite to eat. There is something about giving your two week notice that has a way of putting pep in your step. Brighter pastures seemed ahead of me literally and figuratively.
A fellow behavior modification program technician, waved me down. Headed in opposite directions with different time constraints, Dillon Menk stood no closer than shouting distances.
“Joe, I heard through the grapevine that you’re leaving us.”
“All true.” I shouted. “It’s going to happen the next pay period, if they release me as planned.”
“May I ask where you are headed? What you will be doing?”
I told him. Dillon moved close enough for me to see the seriousness etched on his face. It would be the last time I ever saw him. He had the best intentions in the world when he marshaled up a word of warning.
“Joe, that is one dangerous place that you are headed. You be careful. Watch your back. A client assault could end your career on your first day of work.”
I scoffed. Jobs came and went under the same employer. Twenty years of safe passage pass into the sunset.
Not too long ago, I received an unsolicited phone call, from somebody, who had just been promoted to a temporary position at the same institution once heeded to me as a warning.
“How did you land that job?” I asked. “I thought they just filled that position with a staff member who accepted a transfer from another institution.”
“The position was filled, briefly.”
I implored an explanation. “What happened?”
"The new hire didn’t make it past his second day on the job. A client attacked the guy from behind and savagely beat him unconscious. He is in critical condition. Doctors worry that he may be brain injured. If Dillon Menk even lives, I doubt he will ever work again.”
“Dillon Menk!” I mouthed. “Oh, my God!”
It was as if Dillon Menk pre-cognitively realized his own fate two decades earlier.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Nazli said...

Oh my word!

(That's all I can muster for now)

p.s. going to watch The Da Vinci Code next weekend when the crowds have worn away

11:08 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Dr.
I finally finished The Da Vinci Code book this past weekend. I'm not much of a reader.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

That is quite creepy.

I know how you like irony. Something I raised issue with last week came back to bite me on the ---! Karma maybe, I just laughed at myself for taking it all too seriously.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Zelda,
With all of the incoming phone calls, I'm glad you had time to laugh.

7:24 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

You've officially 'creeped me out'. :::looks for Rod Serling:::

1:33 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Pax,
That ain't nothing.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Good gosh.
I know I just mentioned (in another comment I left today) about my friend who died in the WTC, but this merits telling here.
Same girl and I used to take the SI Ferry home from the city every night after work. The years were '71 and '72 at the time and we watched with awe as they built every single floor onto the Twin Towers. We used to talk about "who the heck would work that high up."
One day she told me "No way ... not me. Look how high those buildings are ... just imagine the possible horrors that could happen in such a building."
Little did she know that some 15 years later, her company (used to be on Broadway) would move into the Towers on the 90th floor. Apparently it didn't disturb her enough to quit. Maybe it should have.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Hag,
We are plainning a trip to NYC and the wife wants to visit the Empire State Building. After seeing King Kong, it looks too high.

6:21 PM  

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