One of the rules was there would be no closed doors within his home save the bathroom door. If the door to my room happened to be shut it would violently crash open, splintering under the sound waves of my dad’s concussive voice: “WHY WAS THIS DOOR CLOSED?” The concept of knocking before opening a door was utterly foreign to him. I still shudder to think what would have happened in the event the unspeakable heresy of a locked door were to have occured within our home.
In hindsight this somewhat strange mandate might be explained. My mother would occasionally agonize at the mere possibility of her son even using the word drugs. The solution in my father’s mind was to eliminate this possibility by forbidding the closing of all doors I might hide any drug use behind.
This is interesting considering my dad’s complete indifference to the quality or quantity of girls I dated, how late I stayed out, or how much alcohol I imbibed. Of course, knowing how late I was because my drunk friends were honking car horns in the driveway at 03:30 in the morning was a completely different matter.
Another interesting phenomena I noted growing up was my dad’s utter disregard for clothes while in the house. In the middle of the day, with the windows wide open, my old man would swagger throughout the place swingin’ in all his magnificence. I never understood this and am happy to report it is a trait I have not inherited from him.
I’d express my consternation that the entire world could see his nudity parading about the living room. Windows rattled in their panes as he gave his customary response as to his worries about what other people thought: “I DON’T GIVE A #@%$! I’LL WALK AROUND MY HOUSE BUTT NAKED IF I $%&# WANT TO!”
Whether or not this invited onlookers or kept the neighbors well away from their own windows we may never know.
During this time I worked in a 50’s diner and was dating the hostess. Late one night after work she gave me a ride home and I invited her inside. We were chatting in my room when the old man burst through the door with a loud ka-boom naked as the day he was born: “Hey son….Whoa! Huh, see ya’ in the morning!”
He shut the door behind him as he left.