Originally Published 06/06/2011 05:57:01 AM
Photo Source: Jessica Beebe
Pacing before the door, pacing pacing pacing, trying desperately to excise the worry and replace it with positives… she’ll like you! you’ll do fine! …Horace felt about to burst and about to wear out his shoe soles. Ten minutes to go until his date Myrna was due to arrive. Ten minutes that felt like ten hours.
Myrna was a secretary at the office where Horace’s room mate Hubert worked. He had seen her through the window many times, and thought she was very attractive. Horace inquired about her often to Hubert, always asking “and how is your beautiful young secretary?!?” hoping to drop the hint. Eventually Hubert suggested that Horace ask her out, but only half-heartedly, because he knew Horace would be too shy to do so. Finally he asked Myrna to go out with Horace as a favor, and she agreed.
Horace couldn’t believe it! She said yes! But now he had to go through with it! He felt himself almost paralyzed with fear at the thought of actually taking Myrna out. What would she think of him? Would he say all the right things and make her laugh? WHAT IF HE SAID SOMETHING WRONG?!? He often got a little bit tongue-tied when he was nervous, and he was certainly nervous about the date! Oh, what if, what if, what IF?!?
Hubert knew that Horace would be fretting, so he helped him practice the basics: pulling out her chair, topics of conversation and above all being confident. That would be the hardest part. Hubert would do all he could to get Horace ready for the date. But much to his frustration there was nothing else he could do.
The day came. Horace worked all day in the office, but his heart and mind weren’t at all into typing and filing invoices. All he could think of was meeting Myrna. He knew it would go well, but still, that little bit of nagging doubt held on. But he was going to go through with it, and he was going to impress her!
Five minutes to go. Five ‘till Seven. They were meeting at The Bellmore Pub at 10 ½ State St. It was much more upscale than the cafeterias that Horace usually frequented, but nothing was too good for the beautiful young secretary. Horace wore his best suit and wrapped his overcoat around himself against the stiff March wind. He held the corset he bought for Myrna as gently as he could against the gales.
she’ll like you! you’ll do fine!
Oh, was Horace ever scared! He just kept breathing, as his watch hit 7:00. Breathing and holding Myrna’s corset. He didn’t know which direction she’d be coming from, so his pacing was almost a benefit. She would be here any minute, and Horace would do fine. He went over all the tips that Hubert went over with him, confident at remembering them all and ready to go.
Ready to go…
Ready…7:10, and Myrna hadn’t arrived. Well, that was nothing. Perhaps there was traffic, or maybe she had received a telephone call from a girl friend. Pace pace pace, she’ll like you! you’ll do fine! Ready to go…
7:20: Maybe she was inside already? Horace looked through the door and scanned the plush booths of the club. He didn’t see Myrna. But she may have been in the restroom? Horace twirled her corset between his thumb and index finger and resumed pacing. she’ll like you! you’ll do fine!
7:35: Bad thoughts started to creep into Horace’s mind, but he couldn’t allow it. Maybe she was in an accident! Or maybe someone in her family was ill! Maybe…maybe she’ll like you! you’ll do fine!
7:50: Horace did not have Myrna’s telephone number, so he couldn’t call her from the pay phone on the corner. But even if he called, what if she answered? Then his worst thoughts would be confirmed. No, she would be there any minute! She would! she’ll like you! you’ll do fine!
8:10: No, she wouldn’t be there any minute. She wouldn’t. She won’t like you, because you won’t have a chance to do fine!
Because nobody wants to be with you…
Horace looked at his watch, realized that at 8:15 he was still twirling the corset he would not be pinning on any dress tonight, and let it go spinning into the cold March wind. He went back to his room, ignoring the white noise of Hubert’s questions about the date and turned out his light.