The Man Behind the Door
The Story Behind the Book
When I began "The Man Behind the Door" in December of 2018, I had absolutely no intention of creating a novel. I put the first lines into my word processor on the anniversary of my father's death, with the sole intention of finding some catharsis in telling his story.
Let me start by saying: he was not a good man.
But he wasn't bad, either. He was broken, a byproduct of the ruthless trauma his mother put him through combined with an inability to communicate or ask for help.
Leigh Glasscock is my father, Michael Gray, through and through. Many of the things he did (minus killing his wife, that never happened) were based on real events.
I told a lot of the bad things that happened, and there was plenty of it, but unfortunately I didn't get to explore the good times we had.
When I was a lot younger I idolized the man and the ground he stood on. We were very close up until the first time we moved, after which we began to grow apart.
I have a lot of regrets about my relationship with him, but as I've gotten older I've become a lot like him and have grown to understand him more.
He might not be here anymore to share his story but he deserves to have it told.
He was not a monster-he was a drug addict. Like many people dealing with chronic pain in the 2000's, he turned to heroin as the opioid crisis worsened.
Like Leigh, he was a carpenter by trade. I think there is a sort of sad symmetry to that. He was a man who could do anything with a tool in his hand, he was just never given the tools he needed to be okay in life.
This story was important for me to tell not only because how he was viewed by everyone else looking in, but by myself. When I was younger, I had a lot of anger towards him for everything he did. It was understandable, even though he never laid a single finger on me or did anything twisted. He was a man who was depressed, dealing with debilitating back pain, and felt entirely alone in the world.
I know he wasn't the hero of the story, but I also know he wasn't the villain either.
I have all the love in the world for the man. In the face of it all, I know he tried to do his best in the end. That's better than some of us will ever do.
I love you, Dad.