Freudian Slips: A Wrong of Passage

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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 10, 2009

A Wrong of Passage

In the vestibule outside the movie theatre, two silver haired foxes sat on a bench chatting about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I just emerged from the same theatre so naturally my ears bent to hear elder wisdom.
Judging by the similar physical features of the women, I suspected they were related one generation apart. The wrinkles outlining their faces told stories and there must have been a century and a half of invaluable experience between them. Two pairs of prescription glasses, one walking cane, and a hearing aide were adaptive adjuncts to their time on this planet.
Rolling tears still with me from the movie's ending, I stood against the wall waiting for my wife to exit the ladies room. Watching the duo, the irony struck me because there may be no better movie encapsulating the entire aging process than The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
For we are all a body of work in a body that eventually will not work, with one not completed until the other expires. So while living we must lead a purpose driven life. We must do what we must with the cards that we are dealt. We must keep moving to find purpose, deriving meaning for the celebration of life as it changes and for as long as it is here.
The only time I feel grounded to this earthly plane is when I write. Nothing feels better, feels more right, or more cathartic to my soul than writing. For me it is truly living unencumbered. It is breathing. Almost everything else in my life is a duty, obligation, responsibility, work, chore, a custom followed.
God-willing, my life is already half over and I have spent the better part of it writing for free for the benefit of only a handful of people other than myself. That matters not because I believe I am doing what I am supposed to - chronicling memories and experiences. It is the cruelty of forgetting that cannot be underscored. Dying brain cells from the aging process, traumatic brain injury, dementia, repression, and even overwhelming stress rob us of short and long term memories. Although embedded in the taxing nature of life itself, forgetting is a thief that steals from us before it is time to leave our physical hosts. It is for this reason too that I write…to develop a permanent record so I cannot forget my life, however ordinary.
After sorting these thoughts from my perch, my keen mind returned to the elderly couple’s movie review.
“Mother, in the Benjamin Button movie, didn’t Cate Blanchett look lovely as a dancer?”
She hesitated. “...Are you sure? I do not remember dancing being in the movie.”
“Dancing was featured in the entire movie, Mother. Surely, you….”
She stopped mid-sentence. The frightened look on the daughter's face seemed to be a capsizing glimpse of her own future. For every rite of passage between them, this seemed so wrong. It made me cry harder. I would like to think that moment is something I will always remember…now that I have written it down.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Merci said...

Thank you for sharing your memories with us!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

merci,
your welcome.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're fortunate, you'll remember the event; blessed if you remember you wrote about it.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

anonymous,
how true.

8:27 PM  
Blogger mommanator said...

beautiful post, so reflective

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes, wishing I could share my memories as eloquently as you do. I have it inside me but can't get it out. I have talked to et about it but still don't think I can do it.
I haven't seen the movie yet but I intend to.
Love you, Catherine Mary

3:52 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Catherine mary,
Observers of the world make the best students. if you talked to Et, hope you were standing on her good side.. she is hard of hearing. lol

6:49 PM  
Anonymous et said...

It's true, I may be hard of hearing on this side of the plane, but know the magnificent power of listening from within.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

et,
stop trumping the writer here. i have the final say...lol

5:57 PM  

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