Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Story

Every family has one. You know; the story that will be told for generations and gets funnier each time you tell it. Here's mine:

To lay a little ground work we need a bit of a back story. My dad was an alcoholic and would occasionally fall asleep on the floor, draped over the stairs, you get the idea. This is integral to the story.

In the winter of 1996 John and I lived in a duplex in College Park in Orlando, Florida. We didn't have a heater in our house, and it was a particularly cold January. One evening, my parents invited us to stay at their house so we wouldn't freeze our asses off when the thermometer dipped below freezing one night. John worked the late shift so my dad said he'd stay up until John got home, but he'd leave the door unlocked just in case. At this point in my family history it's important to mention that my dad was not drinking. Again, an integral part of the story.

Fast forward to about 1:00 am. I'm asleep in the guest room and John comes in:

"Jenn, Jenn...there's someone asleep on the family room floor"


"No no, come look."

We proceeded into the family room to find some guy asleep on the floor. Out cold. Must be someone my dad knows? I don't know. Let's wake up my brother, Andy.

"Andy...there's a guy on the floor."


"Ugh! No. Come on."

Picture it: Three people standing over a man face-down on the carpet. We should get mom.

"Mom" shake shake "MOM! There's a guy on the floor."

"Shit. Pop?"

"No" said in that way that kids can give a one syllable word two syllables.

Four people standing over a stranger. At this point we start poking him with our toes to elicit some kind of response. Nothing.

All the while my dad is asleep ten feet away on the couch oblivious to the goings-on.

Mom: "We'd better wake up your father."

Lights on. TV on. My dad has called the police and flashing lights are flickering in our family room. Strange Guy is still sound asleep.

The mysterious visitor didn't wake until the police had him cuffed. We have no idea who he was. He didn't take anything, he just wanted to sleep it off. My dad didn't press charges; the kid was in the Navy and my dad knew what the military had in store for him.

We've speculated over the years and decided this guy must have wandered in because maybe our house looked like where he was supposed to be. We lived within a mile of a night club so it seemed possible.

I wonder where he's hanging his hat tonight. He has no idea that he has provided my family with "The Story." An experience that was crazy and bonded us in a way that nothing else could have. We've been better since.

Sleep tight, sailor.

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