I knock on the door, a one-knuckle rap. A normal person knock. A non-threatening knock. Three gentle taps against the metal door. No response. I take a deep breath, compose myself, wait the allotted few seconds and knock again. No response. I have an inner-debate as to whether I should take my knocking to stage 2: Pounding. That side-of-my-fist pounding, my anger loosed upon that uncompromising door.
I’ve tried that rage-knock in past visits. One time around Christmas, as my knocks went unanswered, this mental picture developed in my mind quite clearly. Kids were running around happily, the glow of the Christmas tree illuminating the walls with bright and warm colors, presents stacked under that majestically lit massive tree, all wrapped beautifully. Egg nog was being swilled, Christmas carols sung, chestnuts roasting, maybe even Kris Kringle himself was sitting in a recliner, sipping milk and nibbling on sugar cookies. So i flipped up the collar on my black coat and knocked that day with a tad more passion. I was in Mike Tyson mode, throwing upper-cuts at that door, mixed in a few right-crosses and jabs as well. Didnt matter though, the door was not impressed with my pugilistic skills, it just winked at me and didn’t budge.
So i decided that stage 2 was pointless, i just gave the door another soft tap. No response. I backed away and faced the opposite direction of the house. I put my hands on the railing of the fading wood-colored deck. I was trying to be dramatic, hoping someone was looking through a slit in the blinds. I rolled my neck, bowed my head, sighed pronouncedly, put my hand on my forehead. I foolishly thought that my body language was the key to opening that door, that empathy would be a magic wand.
I turned and faced the door yet again, rapped gently and stood quietly while I tried vainly not to lose my cool. Something inside this fortress was of great importance to me, I wasn’t here for something trivial. I had a right to be here and I had the right to knock on this impenetrable door. There was no response.
My imagination took hold once again. I could picture tumbleweeds blowing through the inside of the house. The living room a barren wasteland. I heard nor saw anything. Ever. Like the residents of a booming gold-rush town that flee when the mines have been excavated of every ounce of their paydirt and they leave town in a hurry. It was eerily quiet. The kind of quiet that bothers a man, that unmistakable quiet of rejection. The kind of quiet that tells you that you’re not welcome here and you never will be.
I proceed with this familiar dance, me consistently knocking and the door consistently rebuffing me. I know that the authority in the house regards me unkindly, im a nuisance to them. Im the proverbial monster at their doorstep. A bad man with bad intentions. In their eyes my knocking is an intrusion, my presence here wholly unacceptable. I’m just a virus to them, a virus with a proclivity towards knocking. Their opinion of me is a moot point, I’m here for the right reasons and I’ll rap on that door until my knuckles bleed, my resolve is unshakeable.
There comes a time when I must eventually walk away. Its not the easiest of choices but after a while, when the battle is seemingly lost, its the only prudent thing to do. I dont want to incur the wrath of the local police force, nor do i want to stand on this porch indefinitely. I made my presence known, fruitless as that may be. I glance back at the door, my nemesis, that guardian of secret things and I whisper to it, only audible in my own mind, “I’ve only come here for my daughter, why can’t you understand that?” The door says nothing.