Freudian Slips: Sons of Italy

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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.

March 28, 2007

Sons of Italy

His heavy Italian accent barked orders over the corded telephone that I clutched in my sweaty conforming hand. My instructions were to meet him curbside on the corner of Broad and Chestnut in downtown Philadelphia the following Saturday afternoon at 2pm sharp. He promised to be in position early to wait for my arrival. Between the two of us, he was the only one who stood a chance of recognizing the other. He would look for my car, a vehicle he forced me to describe in nauseating detail. He would look for me in the clothes I signed on to wear that day without a single fiber of deviation. Before the receiver went dead, he cajoled me into promising not to be late. He did not want me to make him foolishly wait when I waited eighteen years. A few minutes leeway should not be a source of contention for an Italian immigrant who advertised all the Old School flexibility of Gumby set in concrete.
The meeting day came with much apprehension on my part. Bright sunshine and the clear visibility of blue sky stretched for miles. Traveling down Broad street by car, I could not get anywhere near my destination. With the area cordoned off with barricades and rope, I had to park several city blocks away from our rendezvous point. Frenzied people crowded the sidewalk to celebrate something other than my blessed reunion. The pedestrian traffic distracted my walk for everybody seemed to be heading in my direction. A clown, balloonist, and a big guy walking on stilts stirred my sense of irony. The gathering throng prevented me from even seeing the designated corner. My mind searched for other people’s description of him. I anxiously paced the street corner named desire. Minutes passed as I alternated pawing at my watch and panning the crowd.
From out of nowhere, a stocky man who looked and smelled foreign bear hugged me like a long lost relative. After obligatory contact, I awkwardly squirmed from his long embrace. Tears rolled down his cheeks while I paradoxically introduced myself. It is unfathomable a task locating the father you never met in a parade amidst a canvass of humanity. Informative years, puberty, adulthood, and emancipation should never pass before you meet your biological father. In a faceless crowd anywhere, he could have been anybody or nobody at all. That is precisely the point. Even a child knows that.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you still meet with him?

8:03 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

About twice a year. He continues to get more out of it than me.

7:38 PM  
Blogger mommanator said...

Geez, I thought this was another tale you wrote for us to read, but it is realy you! Ya had me hooked. Enjoy reading your stuff. Didn't know about your dad.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

biological father. After planting a seed, never turn away or you will miss out on how that seed grows.

3:08 PM  
Blogger rfvgardens said...

Oh wow Joe,this post really got to me.I never knew my biological father, When I was 14 I was told he died when I was about 8 and he never made an effort to get to know me. I was a lucky kid though, I had a second chance, I worshiped the ground my step father walked on, he was a great man. I will always wonder what my biological father would think of the man I've become, I know what my step father thought of me, he told me to my face just before he died and I thanked him with all my heart.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Pax Romano said...

I love when you write about your father ... maybe that could the theme of your next book????

2:49 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

You are a great man. I can't think of anything bad to say about you other than you are a little slow on buying baseball tickets. lol

It would take another four Kenneth Mcgregor actor workshhops to get all those feelings to the surface. I ain't ready for that.

8:51 PM  

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