My father wasn't an involved father. He went to work for 12 hours, came home, watched TV until 7:30-8:00 p.m then went to bed. He hardly spoke to any of us and when he did, it was usually completely off the wall. Get him outside the house with friends or his brothers and he was the life of the party. He was known for being the nicest, funniest guy among those who knew him and those who didn't, he would easily engage in polite, friendly conversation. To us, however, he was just that man in the recliner.
Despite his outgoing, friendly nature, tact was always lacking. On a summer night, there was a knock at our front door. I heard my father let someone in and even invite them to sit down. I peeked out from the kitchen and saw a young, Mexican man on our couch. My father walked to the edge of the staircase and called for my sister and informed her she had a visitor. Moments later, L came down in only a bathrobe and towel on her head. She peered around the corner at the guy then looked at me and whispered, "I don't know him. Tell dad to send him away. I'm not even dressed."
I went into the livingroom and tried to get my father's attention so I could relay my sister's message. He was already engaged in conversation with the Mexican guy and ignored my attempts. L watched all this unfold from the dark staircase where she hid. Impatiently, she slipped from the stairs, into the kitchen and out the back door without being seen. In a bathrobe, she hopped the fence into our neighbor's yard and went inside to call my father from their phone.
A few minutes later, our phone rang. My father excused himself politely, got up and answered. On the other end was L explaining to him she had no idea who that man was therefore, she wasn't going to see him. My father hung up the phone, walked into my parent's bedroom and returned to the livingroom with his 12 gauge shotgun. The poor man on our couch probably needed a clean pair of shorts. He gaped in disbelief as my father pumped the shotgun, knodded his head toward the front door and said, "Get the fuck out."
I was young, but I'm pretty sure that was my first facepalm experience. Only mere seconds before, they were engaged in jovial, plesant conversation. Talk about bi-polar. Hiding in the shadows with wide eyes and mouth gaping, I watched the guy get up slowly from the couch with hands raised while apologizing profusely to my father for really no reason. As he slowly neared the door, he suddenly turned and bolted out.
My father simply took the gun back to the bedroom and returned to the recliner to continue watching TV as if nothing had happened. When L came through the back door ducking and peeking into the livingroom for the young man, I said, "He's gone. Dad pulled a gun and he ran."
"Dad! You pulled a gun on him?!" L yelled from the kitchen.
"You told me you didn't want to see him," he called back. "What else should I have done?"
L and I exchanged bewildered glances before she shrugged and disappeared into the darkness up the staircase back to her bedroom.
We never did find out who he was, but I'm certain he suffered a case of PTSD afterward and likely never showed up to any house uninvited ever again.