I think you need to go through the manual and read up on the basics. Your problem is inherently the lack of understanding Object types.
C2 is a wonderful tool that makes development a breeze. It is however not a magical tool. Principle understandings are still a requirement. Knowing the difference from a Number and a String is really required.
The code you present has a problem.
an int or INTEGER is a number range with no decimal place. Where as "LEFT" is a String and is not composed of any number what so ever. So it is impossible to result an int("left") to have any value that isn't 0; as 0 is the default to any failed math expression.
int, number with no decimal. 1
float, number with decimal; including 1.0.
string, any set of characters including a numeral as a character(not a number). "abc76" is a string