Freudian Slips: Leading Off

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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 31, 2010

Leading Off

First and foremost, Frankie Davie professed to be a diehard sports fan. He lived his whole life a baseball fan with blinders to his moderate mental retardation. He always played favorites and seemed to prefer teams over individual people. I tried to play more of the field working in developmental disability yet I privately considered Frankie one of my favorite clients.
I last parted company with Frankie when he dwelled in a behaviorally challenging cottage in a government run institution nestled in the Pinelands. Not as I would have hoped, Frankie’s last words to me did not resemble a classic goodbye. Instead, he whined why the box score in the sports section showed his favorite team losing by five runs to an underdog. While some people are not good at goodbyes, what I did not understand back then is that Frankie could not comprehend finality because he perpetually lived in the moment.
Proving that time waits for no one, our quirky sendoff occurred a quarter century ago. Turn the page to 2010. While recently entering a community based day program, an older man wearing a ragged baseball cap tapped me on the shoulder.
“Joe, why did the Milwaukee Brewers lose last night?”
"What?" I turned to address the speaker then screamed surprise. “Frankie Davie!”
His hair needed reseeding and it had turned a battleship gray. I put my arm around him but he returned no affection, no obvious sign of attachment. He had uncannily remembered my name and recalled that baseball was a frequent conversation but the human connection escaped him. The only emotion that he showed was to his bad news boys of summer.
He added, “Why do the Brewers have a bad team?”
The beleaguered Milwaukee Brewers franchise must have lost 2,000 games since I last saw Frankie but he began right where he left off. He remained stuck in the moment. Clinicians keeping score might call that symptomatically retarded. I considered it the top of the first inning again. Leading off with a proper hello...Frankie Davie.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This proves that you haven't changed much over the years. A little heavier, but still a handsome guy with plenty of personality!

6:27 PM  
Blogger mommanator said...

O anon do you have rose colored galsses, but if you are who I think you are that really is a poke!
joe isnt it uncanny what the mentally challenged focus on!

10:13 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

thanks...i guess. lol

truly it is.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

I remember working with young adults fresh out of day training a couple of decades or so ago. Which means that they're all in their 40's now. And some of my favorite older clients from back then are long deceased. Time marches on.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I always ask myself if I am doing with my time what I should.

4:51 PM  

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