The eyes quiver. The mind panics, freezing. Both words, similar in size and lettering but opposite in meaning, have been seen so many times before. The familiarity only adds to the confusion, the pressure. Neurons strike: the word’s meaning doesn’t compute. Momentum carries the body forward, as caution, all the more urgently, grasps at friction to slow it down. ‘Slower’ you silently utter to your movement. Nothing changes. ‘Slower’. Confusion clogs the receptors and momentum continues. Your arm extends as the hand prepares to grip the mocking handle. The insatiable challenge only remains: to welcome this taunter into your space or force it forward. The reality remains that it is not up to you to determine which one it will be. But what will your body do? Your arm is minded by another. If a message is sent, the translator is left behind; you are as unaware of your next actions as the watching receptionist. Technically, you have the same likelihood of succeeding or failing, but, statistics lean unbashfully towards failure with an audience. You know that. If you ran a t-test of your history, the ratio of failure: success wouldn’t be equal; the test results would be significant towards doom.
By now, your body would be expertly propped behind the door if it said ‘push’, but in the way if the four letter word is ‘pull’. Life is gamble. If its the former, conditions are conducive to smoothly transit your body from inside one room, to inside the next. If, however, it’s the later, an over-compensated helter-skelter will surely follow.
Your hand grips. From the small of your back, power is borne. Your hind leg remains firmly, as if it were briefly but securely bolted to the floor, to change the perpendicular angle between your body and the floor to that of an acute angle. Power urges up your core timely, as you lean your shoulder into the door. Inertia is technically on your side, but he betrays you. Instead of aiding your transition, he draws you to a door that argues back. He resists your confidence – how dare he – and defiantly attempts to repel you backwards. This time, inertia doesn’t choose sides per se; it oscillates ever more fickly between the two until it straddles both forces, and becomes still.
Your body freezes but your head turns on. Eyes dive backwards in their caves before the mouth’s resigned corners crack in known expose; the mind computes.