Freudian Slips: Glory Days

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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.

November 28, 2006

Glory Days

This past weekend, I played in a touch football game on a sun-drenched field. Despite absorbing the indignity of being picked last to play on a team, my heart pitter-pattered and my jaw chomped at the bit. During the opening kickoff of the football game, my legs buckled in their arduous quest forward. About ten steps downfield into the first play of the game, I realized a great detraction. I cannot string strides together. I cannot open my strides to a gallop without my knees cog wheeling or giving out. I am functionally unable to run.
A speed merchant on my team living out his glory days left me in the dust. My younger brother passes me on my left. The rest of my teammates surged ahead of me in the downfield pursuit. Lady in cement passed me at the thirty-five yard line. High-speed shutter aspirations turn into slow motion gnashing of moving joints. The opposing team’s thirteen-year-old ball carrier broke free of the pack. For lack of a better action word, I give chase. Only NASA could scientifically explain the gravitational pull on my body trying to move my weight forward. My gimpy legs skidded laterally but they could not even touch the ball carrier. In my gasp for air, I grasped only air. Middle age rendered me a worthless football player. I could not effectively backpedal, sidestep, jump, run, or block. I turned around at the action only to see my entire sports career in a rearview mirror of sorts.
In a sedentary alternate universe, perhaps there are 44-year-old couch potatoes, who while reaching for another beer and the chip and dip bowl, know they cannot run anymore. Personally, it came with as much surprise as humiliation to learn that I cannot run anymore because I am able to tenuously sprint from point to point in tennis and racquetball. If my life depended on it, I could probably exit a house on fire with only second-degree burns although nobody would call my plodding escape running.
An hour later, the pickup game mercifully ended with my clothes soaked in cold sweat. Reddened of face, I walked off the field a defeated man left wondering where all the years of my prime went. If I knew nothing about football, I knew something about my future. The tennis clinic promised to be coming my way for Christmas will be returned for an Ipod.

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8 Comments:

Blogger rfvgardens said...

Gory days ahead???? Glory Days behind.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Rfvgardens,
Ain't it the truth?

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you have fun?

7:28 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Anonymous,
I did about 25 years ago.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous et said...

Joe, as you and your brothers slowly crawled back to sit on the patio's steps, I wondered to myself, how did my babies turn into old men; and where the heck was I when it happened????

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Crimp said...

Joe - I had so much fun playing football at that party - in spite of being one of the more physically challenged - and your story captures the moment in time perfectly.

I have to thank you for not also capturing the moment immediately prior to kickoff where the pre-teen captains drafted their respective teams - we were surely not first-round draft picks that day!

From the hand of ...
Johnny T.

4:14 AM  
Blogger honkeie2 said...

The truth of human limitations is a sad reality for those who....used to could.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

honk,
as long as we can still have fun on cruise ships. lol

9:35 PM  

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