Freudian Slips: Remission

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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.

January 11, 2007


"I want to make you proud, Pops."

Freudian Slips rarely covers sequels but this one fell into my lap. While working out in the free weight room of my gym, I was revisited by the vein-popping gladiator and Napoleon, the sadistic and masochistic father and son workout team. In the recesses of the gym, the freestanding gladiator dropped his dumbbells to let me know he had finished his set of curls. When the dumbbells bounced off the shock absorbing mats and rolled near my ankles, I figured as much. I moved over to the next workout bench to be out of harm’s way.

An older woman, who masked her baldness with a bright scarf, offered an inviting hello to Napoleon. Napoleon and this woman acted as if they had not seen each other in a long time. A brief conversation ensued. From my decampment, I noticed that the woman reduced her speaking voice. I could hear about half of the conversation. She ran through a gamut of emotions. She told him of her sudden illness, the domino search for a medical doctor who could find a correct diagnosis, her hysterical reaction to learning then dealing with her cancer, the chemotherapy, and now her strength to return to the gym.

“There is my son.” pointed Napoleon. “Over there in the blue shorts.”

The only two members working out in the room wore blue shorts, gladiator and me. The gladiator seemed peeved about something that could have been as simple as my wearing blue. He started to huff, puff, and mumble profanities under his breath. I started to shake my head across the grain like I couldn’t be related to these dysfunctional fools.

“Not not him.” answered Napoleon. “The other guy is my son.”

The conversation between Napoleon and the cancer victim ended with a heartfelt hug. Napoleon walked back into the free weight room. The woman started to walk around the track. I thought of the self-irony, to be included in a blog story I already started to write in my head about these recurring characters. The gladiator now completely ignored his father. Napoleon whispered something that turned the gladiator’s face beet red.

“She has cancer.” Napoleon admitted louder. “Be understanding.”

The gladiator had enough. He ate cancer chexx as a breakfast cereal. “She is weak.” he mocked. “You are here to get stronger. Get out of my f--king face, dad.”

“You don't understand. She has been though a rough ordeal, that’s all.”

“What I don't understand is what does her cancer have to do with you? Nothing.”

The dad cowered a tail between his legs. “I’ll catch up in the workout. Just tell me what I missed when I was talking to her.”

The gladiator said, “You are here to workout not listen to an old bitty’s sob story. We came here to pump iron.”

“Give me one more chance.”

“I am ashamed of you. I don’t want to even look at you. Scram. You’re on your own today, Pops. You make me sick. You can’t even do a complete workout without jerking off with the ladies.”

As I did some lat pull downs looking rather incredulous, Napoleon grabbed a set of 25-pound dumbbells off the rack. The gladiator snatched the dumbbells from his possession then got in his father’s face.

“Why don’t you go hold her hand and leave me out of it. You and the old lady can skip around the track like two little girls.”

When your life is full of mirrors, it is a reflection on you.



Blogger honkeie2 said...

I am curious as to what might have happened between those two. Maybe the dad cheated on him mom and he is trying the bond with the son.....or maybe the son is just some roided up asshole....who knows...

1:06 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

any number of a hundred variables. I might lean on bad DNA.

7:06 PM  
Blogger rfvgardens said...

Sounds to me like the Gladiator could sure use a good dose of humility, may be some "itching powder" in his what movie did I see that in....

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that original story may have been the first one I read in your blog! That son is a piece of work.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

see you Sunday.

sounds like you have a lot of archival reading to catch up on. lol

10:16 PM  

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