Got a girlfriend? Yes? I'm happy for you. A girlfriend's a very nice thing to have, and if you're made to jump through the occasional hoop to secure the right one, I wouldn't blame you in the least for going ahead and getting that done. Shit, that's why we do everything, right? There are very few actions men take in life without using the prospect of getting laid as a prime motivating factor, and if you can spend a solid chunk of this "countdown to death" with someone you actually like, more power to you.
But if you do have a girlfriend, and you work where I work, don't expect to see her on worknights because she's not coming in. She's not invited. In fact, she's barred. They all are. No girlfriend, fiancee or wife of a bouncer is permitted inside the club while he's on the job -- unless it's an emergency, of course -- because management doesn't want us getting distracted. And this policy is a hundred percent correct.
She'll come down with her friends, and she'll be fine. Nothing will happen. They'll have a wonderful time, and she'll be drunk and willing by the time you get home. Everything will be right in your little corner of the world. So right, in fact, that she'll eventually want to come down and do it all again, and things will go swimmingly then, too. And it'll continue like this for weeks. Months, even.
Until someone throws a drink on her. Or pulls her into a bathroom. Or slips some GHB into her drink. And you flip the fuck out.
I've seen it happen. Hell, I've tried to prevent it from happening to guys I've worked with. You steer them away, tell them you've "got the guy who did it," and that "we're taking care of it," but they don't listen because they've now been violated, and bouncers don't take kindly to being violated where they work. And there's likely no worse feeling as a bouncer than emasculating one of your teammates by holding him back while somebody else goes to work on the guy who wronged his woman.
But you step in because you have to, because you know he's not thinking rationally and because you're keeping him from getting fired. You'd want someone to do this for you, obviously, and if the bouncer you're helping has a whit of sense about him, he'll calm the fuck down and realize what's happening is being done for his own good.
"Rob, you on the air?"
"Yeah, go 'head, Juan."
"Come around to the side door* real quick. No fight, but I got a situation back here. I only need one guy."
I ran around the corner to find Juan wrestling with "Billy," an off-duty cop who works with us intermittently.
"What the fuck?" I screamed, trying to pry my way between them. "Bill! Calm the fuck down! What the fuck's goin' on?"
Billy shoved Juan away and walked in an infuriated circle, first away from us, then back. "My fuckin' girlfriend's in there with another guy, that's what the fuck's goin' on!"
I looked at Juan. "They're takin' 'em out now," he said.
"Bill," I said, "you gotta calm down. Was it a friend of hers or something?"
"No, it wasn't a friend of hers, you fuckin' asshole! She didn't know I was workin' here and she comes in with that motherfucker, and they're fuckin' sittin' on a fuckin' couch, and..."
"I'M GONNA KILL THAT FUCKIN' CUNT!"
"I'm gonna go home," he said, "and I'm gonna pop in my fuckin' magazine, and I'm gonna blow that fuckin' cunt's head off. That's what I'm gonna do."
"Jesus Christ. Juan, you wanna stay out here with him for a minute? I'm gonna go get Johnny..."
"Rob," said Billy, "I'm fine. Just stay out here with me for a little while."
"Dude," I said, "you really oughta talk to Johnny about this shit. You're talking about shooting people here." I flicked Juan on the chest with the back of my hand. "Anyone else see any of this? Carmine or anyone?"
"Nah, man," he replied. "I got him out here, and Stan and Kevin told the girl she had t'leave."
"She live with you?"
"Fuck," I said. "She ain't gonna go back there tonight. You gotta calm down, though. It ain't worth ruining your life over this shit, dude."
"I'll handle it."
"I think you should talk to somebody, man. Seriously, because..."
"Rob," he said, "I'll handle it, meaning I won't do anything stupid. I'm not losing my job over some stupid fuckin' cunt, trust me. I knew she was a fuckin' whore after she moved in, but I didn't think she'd try anything right under my fuckin' nose like that. How fuckin' stupid can you be? She knows I work here once in a while."
"Write it off, man. All you can do."
"Yeah, I know. Don' worry about it. I'm fine."
"You gonna stay and work?" I asked. "Or do you wanna go home?"
"Fuck yeah, I'm gonna stay and work. My fuckin' rent's about to double."
* * * * *
* Intentionally misquoted. We refer to the "side door" by the name of the street to which it's adjacent.