Push / Pull - Daniel
Larry was heading downtown to a bar. He had a date. This was a somewhat rare occurrence.
Larry wasn't anything of a Don Juan. He lacked the looks. He lacked the confidence. To put it simply, Larry was lacking. His hairstyle was always a few years past its best, and his shirt was often ill-fitting. It either hung from him like a scarecrow or clung to his body like plastic wrap. Today it was the latter which may have worked had Larry had a better physique. He attended the gym regularly, but his body remained the same. Slightly lumpy and discoloured. Like spoiled milk.
He hadn't been to this bar before which worried him. Many things worried Larry. His anxieties often teetered on the verge of becoming paranoias. But he'd been to the doctor who had told him that everything was fine, so it must be fine because a doctor couldn't possibly be wrong.
As he walked, Larry thought of all the times that a doctor had been wrong before; and he thought about how fifty percent of people get cancer; and he thought about the fragility of life; and he thought about the certainty of death; and he thought that a meteor could fall from space to specifically crush him; and he thought that the sun might one day suddenly decide to expand and consume the Earth in a fit of fiery rage. He wished he had stayed inside. There was a certain safety indoors, but he did not want his worries to prevent him living. Even if it was in constant fear, sunglasses, and hats.
Larry’s neuroses weren't the charming kind. As such, he was pleased about the date’s location. Anxiety is highly soluble in alcohol; his readily dissolved even after one glass. Best to have at least two though. Just to be safe.
There was, however, an issue. Before the bar came the door. And, as Larry had never been there before, he had no idea concerning the nature of this door. Was it a push or was it a pull? The ramifications of making an incorrect decision were vast.
If his date saw him pulling a push, she would think he was weak and ineffectual. Unable to even handle a simple door. And how could he handle a relationship if he couldn't even handle an object designed precisely with the handling in mind? Larry had begun to sweat.
If it was a pull and he pushed it, however, she would think that he was bold and brash. Self-assured to the point that he would just walk into a solid object and expect it to give way. Perhaps he would expect the same of her. That she would just throw herself at his feet. This thought frightened Larry.
And now the sweat was getting in his eyes which didn't help matters. Although maybe he could use it. Yes! If it went wrong, he could pretend to be blind. Make a joke about it truly being a blind date. No. What if it went well and he had to keep it up? Too much effort. The ethics were also questionable, but it was mainly the effort thing that dissuaded him.
Larry resigned himself to the embarrassment; first of failing to open the door, and then of having to correct his error. Like a scolded child trying to regain mummy’s approval. That took him back. Not a good look. After his inevitable mistake, he would have to timidly open the door and attempt to laugh it off. Though he doubted that anyone else would be laughing, least of all his date. It was doomed. The evening foiled before it had even begun.
Larry arrived at this conclusion and the bar at around the same time. Oh Christ, he thought to himself. A revolving door.
Daniel Guy Baldwin is a writer currently living in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, a Philosophy graduate from Keele University and trying his best to write meaningful fiction with varying degrees of success.