Freudian Slips: Shoes for the Baby

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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.

July 17, 2007

Shoes for the Baby

One calendar year passed since I last visited Ron and Rena Hubbard, both mildly retarded. Old Man Time has a haunting way of standing still in their simple lives. Rarely do they change their unstylish ways, especially with emotional benchmarks. Before I utter a preliminary question, I can almost predict their final stance. Three steps through the front door of their cluttered apartment; I find Mr. Hubbard spit shinning a pair of infant black patent leather shoes in The Empty Cupboard. Ron passed the kitchen dish towel to his wife in order to shake my hand.
Ever so willing to please Reba picked up where the husband left off. She polished around the heel of the left shoe. The towel sported gravy stains on it so I wonder about the exercise in futility. Ill-equipped to care for human beings, I pray that the little shoes belong to a baby doll but there is no circumstantial evidence to suggest this saving grace. Afraid to ask the right question that would lead to the wrong answer, I watch their diligence to the task before speaking. The shoes seem to take on a life of their own in their otherwise empty hands.
I said haltingly, “What or who do the shoes belong to?”
“These are the shoes to our firstborn baby that people like you took away from us. These shoes are the only thing the courts let us keep. Joe, it is all we got left.”
I stood there stonewalled, not wanting to delve deeper and risk emotional upheaval.
Mr. Hubbard interrupted the three-way silence. “I know what you are thinking?”
“You do?”
He reasoned, “Yeah, you are wondering what happened to our guinea pig. It died.”
My bottom lip curled to the damning mortality. “Yeah, a guinea pig held in captivity is what I was thinking.”

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10 Comments:

Anonymous et said...

The Hubbards are one lucky couple. They possess the ability, due to their mildly retarded brain waves, to believe that you remembered and truly cared for their guinea pig! Simplicity of mind is the key to tranquility in life.
Question: Did you remember the pig?

11:35 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

O thats onew of the cutest stories you have written despite it being the truth!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

This is why you like doing social work?

8:56 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

Gotta say, it sounds like our compatriots at that other social services agency got it right this time...

10:51 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

et,
They could have called me when it was dying a slow death.

mommanator,
the truth hurts.

zelda,
it was one of the tougher moments, I'll admit.

merci,
You got that right.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They now have two ones thanks to me and the HAGC!!

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 NEW ones!~

2:02 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

anonymous,
anything you can do to help

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By my taking the Hubbards to the petstore is this a help or do I hinder the lives of the pigs?

They are good pet parents! Thank God for small simple miracles

Mel

12:42 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

anonymous,
You might draw the safety net line at a soul. I draw it at a heartbeat. Follow YOUR heart to the pet store and disregard my opinion here.

8:15 AM  

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