Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Knocking Richard (StoredStory #5)

It was late afternoon when I heard a knock at the door. Being a generally trusting twenty-something at the time, not to mention that I was expecting a possible love interest to pop in any time, I waltzed right up to my door and opened it. I didn't even ask, "Who is it?" The charming prince who I was expecting and who I could just "see" standing on the other side of my door was .... (cough)... a smelly old drunk man with a Santa Claus beard and a cigarette perched in his right ear. Now, in the ten seconds I stared at him, I somehow couldn't get my limbs to close the door. I think I was too stunned, confused, perhaps saddled with that oh-shit feeling when presented with unexpected circumstances.

The man began to push his way in. An invisible acrid cloud of alcoholism wafted over to my nose. I grabbed the man's arm and said the only thing I could think of. "Who are you, sir?" Now, I don't imagine too many people would stop and make room for pleasantries whenever a strange drunk man is trying to bulldoze his way into their houses. But, no, my pleasant personality just can't be overcome even in a crisis. "Richard!" he replied. He grunted as he tried to shove past me. "Well, Richard, you are not welcome here!" I pushed back at the man like a cat who's had it and doesn't want to be held. My  strong-arm maneuver managed to work; I got him back just outside the door post and slammed the door shut. I locked the door and ran for the hallway. Richard began furiously pounding on my door. "What's-a-matter with you!" he roared. I covered my ears fearing I had now entered the scary movie scene of my life. This is where you get killed, Chuck, I said to myself. Thoughts raced through my head. I could just see him breaking a window, bursting in, and taking over me and my house. He'd hold me at knife point, and then he'd light that sweat stained cigarette and stink up my living room. I shuddered. 

All of sudden, the pounding stopped. Oh crap! Was the kitchen side door unlocked? He would go for that next. I ran to it and made sure it was locked. All was quiet. I stepped stealthily through the kitchen, into the hall, back to the living room door. I peaked out. There Richard was falling over in my yard. Then, he got himself up and walked away. Now, normally I would call the cops, but for some reason, I just let Richard go. He could have been a danger to me, to others, and to himself. I swore to myself that the next time I was presented with such a situation, I would call the cops. What if he had chopped up my neighbor down the street? It would be my fault because I could have stopped this whole thing right then and there. But, no, I failed that night, and the problem didn't just go away. But in the spirit of Paul Harvey, I must say there will be 'the rest of this story' I'll tell in #6. 

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