Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Shooting

I don't carry a gun to work. I could, but I don't. If the day ever comes when I think I need to carry a gun to work, I won't go to work that day. I'll skip it because if I believe I need to carry a gun to work, I've let the club intrude upon my "real life." And I can't let that happen because nightclubs aren't real.

Everything about the nightclub industry is artificial. When you have a problem in a nightclub, it's not a real problem. It's an artificially created problem. It's a problem created by alcohol and drugs. It has nothing to do with your job, your family, your education or your future. It has everything to do with a chemically induced distortion of reality. This distortion takes place solely in your mind. In the real world, it simply doesn't count.

When you have a problem in a nightclub, and you tell people about it the next day, and the people you tell are working people who don't go to nightclubs, they don't care. They think what happened to you at the club is meaningless. They think you should have stayed home last night. They're concerned with taxes and car payments and the planning of baby showers. They're not concerned with the "n---a" who "dissed" you, or the "bitch" who "jacked" you. Nor should they be.

When you get hurt at a nightclub, and you go to the emergency room, you're going to be waiting for a while, because your troubles aren't important. You weren't hurt while doing anything productive. Because this is the case, and because the doctors and nurses at the hospital all know this is the case, they roll their eyes when you stagger in, coked to the gills, with your broken nose and your missing teeth. They do this because problems in nightclubs are nothing but crap.

When you get arrested outside of a nightclub, the police will treat you like a piece of shit, because that's what you are. They'll treat you with disdain because you're just another drunk who's deluded himself into thinking that problems in nightclubs are real problems.

When you're sitting in a nightclub, and you think it's appropriate to react with violence when "open-mike hip-hop night" is over and you haven't had your chance to rap, you're wrong. Not getting your chance to rap on "open-mike hip-hop night" is not a real problem. That's something where you say, "Aw, crap. We missed it. Get me another beer." It's not something where you say, "Let me do something really violent now, because I've been wronged so grievously I can no longer keep my emotions in check. I shall now rampage."

But when you're a bouncer who's not a cop, and you decide it's time to carry a gun to work, you've now got a real problem. And when you're the guy who decided to rampage in lieu of rapping, and the bouncer who's not a cop puts a bullet in your chest or your throat or your head, that's a real problem too, because now you're dead. You're really dead. And that's nothing artificial.

I don't want to kill the customers. I joke about it sometimes, though. I send text messages throughout the night to the smoking hot Asian. I text her about tear gas. I text her about hooking up a hose to my car exhaust and gassing the place out. I fantasize with other bouncers about "Chainsaw Thursdays," where midway through the evening, when the room reaches its peak, we're all given five minutes to tear through as much clubflesh and clubbone as we can. With chainsaws.

None of this is real, though. The circumstances leading to this man's death were nothing but artificial nightclub bullshit. At 9 PM, the streets have order. At 4 AM, they don't. And this discord isn't the natural order of things. It's not in our blood. It's manufactured bullshit that starts in establishments like mine. And Opus 22 in Chelsea, where a bouncer decided he needed to carry a gun because of artificial things that happen in an artificial place. Or because he was insane, but that's a different discussion for a different day.

I have no answers to your questions. Some bouncers carry guns. Some arm themselves because they sell drugs, and it's part of that business. Others do it because they're naive enough to accept nightclub artifice as reality. Some bouncers are off-duty cops, so they carry. Off-duty cops aren't supposed to be bouncers, so they'll never use the weapons they're carrying unless they're very stupid. Or insane. Or naive enough to think what they're doing is real.

I don't know who comes to work armed. I have my suspicions, but I don't know for sure. It's easy to conceal a weapon if you know what you're doing. Easier still to know when the time has come to get the fuck out of this business for good.