Thomas awoke to a disgruntled moan from the outside of the door. He knew this sound all too well. It was the sound of his dear friend and neighbor, George.
George’s attempts to get into his house had become a nightly occurrence. The previous night, around 2 a.m. George jammed his key into the lock. When it wouldn’t turn the bolt and open the door, he started yelling curse words on the street.
He had the wrong house – again.
Thomas was worried about his friend.
About three months ago, the grocery store that George owned shut down. Thomas knew business has been slow, but he didn’t realize just how much his profits had decreased. Shortly after the closing of the store, his fiancée decided to find a new suitor. She needed someone with money to support her – or so she said.
With his life crumbling before him, George had taken to the pub to sort out his problems. Night after night, he’d stumble out of the wood slab black doors toward his house near Parnell Square.
There was just one problem.
Every house in Dublin had the same look and feel. The doors looked the same. The bricks looked the same. Everything was identical. It was hard enough for a sober man to point out his doorway, let alone someone who had consumed a few too many pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson.
Tonight was just another one of those nights. His good friend’s drinking problem was once again rearing its ugly head as he tried to break into his friend’s front door.
Thomas pulled on his jacket and headed down the staircase to meet him.
“George! How lovely to see you. Do you know what time it is?”
George peered back at him through puffy, droopy eyes.
“Thomas! What are you doing in my house?”
He didn’t get it. Thomas could see that this night was worse than most. His speech was slurred and his breath smelled foul. This was one of the nights Thomas knew he’d have to walk his friend home and tuck him into bed. How much longer could he watch this happen?
As George and Thomas made their way to the next door, Thomas had a thought. What if each of these doors was painted a unique color? Would that help his friend find his way home each night a little bit easier?
It sure would!
The only thing that Thomas, George and all the residents had the right to change were the color of their doorways. The next morning, Thomas headed down to the paint store. He bought green paint for George’s house and red for his own.
This will do the trick, he thought.
His neighbors admired his handy work as he adorned each door with a new color. These bright hues brought new life to the street. Soon, everyone was following in Thomas’s footsteps, painting their doors blue, white, red, green, and just about any other color you could imagine.
George was embarrassed about the painted doors – so much so that he stopped making his nightly trips to the pub and refocused his efforts on finding a job.
As time went on, George rebuilt his life. He started a new business importing exotic foods. When that took off, he started gaining new interest from the ladies in Dublin. After going on a few dinner dates, he found the one.
When Thomas attended George’s wedding a few years later, he had to smile. This man’s life was turned around all because of Dublin’s doors.
**NOTE: This is a fictional story based on the notion that Dublin’s doors were originally painted colorful hues to help people who’d been drinking find their way home.