Thursday, October 10, 2019

Haunted

I started my first job with a home building company in the summer of 1980.  It was a small company, 15 or 20 employees, run by a Leon and sweet genius of a man who went on to teach at the University of Florida, and is long since dead.  He still haunts me.  I can recall early on in working there saying something about cement blocks, and him correcting me, that those are concrete blocks.  Cement is what sticks together the aggregate in concrete, a cement block or sidewalk would be all stick and no strength.  When I saw this sign in Philly, I could hear Leon echoing in my head, "Concrete, cement is just what sticks it all together!"  

I was in the grocery store recently, and someone had left open one of the doors on the cheese display in the dairy department. This time it was my mother screaming, "CLOSE THAT DOOR!"echoing in my brain. I did close the door, even though I didn't leave it open.  

Those voices that echo in our heads are how people from our past haunt us.  Nothing sinister or evil about these hauntings (well there are few things from mom that would challenge that statement) but lessons learned and reinforced.  

Who haunts you? 

There is one other Leon story, I have to tell.  The staff went out to lunch once a month.  At lunch one day, someone ordered Scotch (whiskey) on the rocks. Leon grimaced, and said, "I don't know how you can drink that stuff."  I responded that "Scotch is an acquired taste, you get use to it." Leon responded, "If I put my hand on the table and pick up a hammer and start pounding on my hand, after a couple of minutes I will get use to it, it still won't be pleasant, but I will get use to it." I loved working with him.   

12 comments:

  1. Scotch at a work lunch. Oh. In my case, reserved for after 8pm. I don't remember anyone's words echoing my ear but I do remember being punished at primary school for saying pitchers instead of pictures. It made me much more careful with my speech.

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    1. My grandmother was born in London and made sure my pronunciation was good.

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  2. Leon sounds exceptional! Sadly, I’ve been haunted throughout my adult life by cruel things my parents regularly said. I’ve managed to silence much of that but every so often, at an especially bad moment, something will come flying into my head.

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    1. My mother could be "challenging"

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  3. I am in mitchell's camp. 99.9% of the bullshit I have been able to erase via therapy. but sometimes that .1%...

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    1. that is were the haunt comes from.

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  4. Hell you want haunted, come to new hope!

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  5. I don't know about haunted, but I sometimes hear my mother's voice coming out of my mouth. It is not pleasant, and I apologize every time to BH. It could be worse. I could've inherited her abuse personality too. Good thing my father was sweet :) I agree wholeheartedly with Leon!

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    1. We are a product of our heritage, but origin is not destiny.

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  6. From Ibsen:
    MRS. ALVING. Ghosts! When I heard Regina and Oswald in there, it was
    as though ghosts rose up before me. But I almost think we are all of
    us ghosts, Pastor Manders. It is not only what we have inherited
    from our father and mother that "walks" in us. It is all sorts of
    dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no
    vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we cannot shake
    them off. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see ghosts
    gliding between the lines. There must be ghosts all the country
    over, as thick as the sands of the sea. And then we are, one and
    all, so pitifully afraid of the light.

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