Maltese Al (Act 1)

I was about to rent a room from his son Mark, but the room wasn’t ready until Monday: it was Friday. This was 30 years ago,  I was new in town. 

Al’s son Mark suggested I stay with Al until the room was available. Al and I hit it off and Al suggested I rent his spare room from him… I agreed. 
When we informed Mark of the new arrangement, Mark flew into a rage at his father for stealing a client. 

Picture this. A triplex. Mark lives on the top floor, Al lives on the 2nd floor and there’s an empty apartment below Al’s.

On Saturday  and Sunday  night Al got drunk and dressed in only his underwear would stand in his kitchen and knowing where his son would sit, would scream and yell at his son through the floorboards. I quote: ” I brought you into this world and I will take you out… Iwill rip your throat out with my bare teeth.” Other stuff less quotable was also offered  

Now I like live theater as much as the next, however I went to see Mark on Monday morning and told him I had enough.  Mark suggested I rent his empty apartment on the first floor. I agreed on the condition that Al not be told.  He agreed. 

For 2 weeks, I listened to Al scream obscenities at his son until one night I had enough and climbed the stairs,  kicked open his door. Al was standing in his underwear, clutching a quart bottle of rum, yelling at where he imagined his son might hear him. I said, “Al if you don’t shut the fuck up, I’ll rip your throat out with my bare teeth.”

Al staggered towards me with tears in his eyes and said, “Dennis! Where have you been?”

Dennis Mantin 

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