Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Shit talk

Even within the confines of the minor constellation that is my club, I'm not what you'd call a celebrity. Sure, I'm well known and highly regarded amongst the people with whom I work -- though less so, lately, for various reasons -- but most people coming to the door don't even know my name and never will.

This is because I'm usually going by a fake name. I don't want anyone knowing my real name, because that could lead to things called complications, and since I've spent so much time trying to make my life as simple as I can possibly make it, complications are unnecessary at this juncture.

If you ever let these fuckers know your real name, you're getting yourself on that road to complications. It starts with your real name, segues into interaction, then ends, at times, with breeding. Or interbreeding. Bouncers and customers shouldn't breed. If I did ever start down the path to penetration with any of our disease-ridden customers, I'd be porking them Williamsburgh Style, through a hole in a sheet with a double-lambskin raincoat rubber cemented to The Unit, and Saran Wrap around my tongue, just in case. I'd have to.

Fuck it, man. Look around. When it's four in the morning, and the club's letting out, and we're all standing out on the sidewalk waiting for cabs, take a good hard look around at what's surrounding you. You'll see what I mean, and you'll say what I said on Saturday night:

"These people don't look right."

They don't. They really, truly don't. It's the Island of Misfit Toys, is what it all is. You look around and see all the fucked-up hair and the fucked-up clothes and the fucked-up shoes and you hear the fucked-up accents and you wonder if there are places where normal people go. You dream of normality. "I wonder," you say, "if there's a club somewhere where everyone doesn't look like this."

I wonder these things because I haven't been anywhere else in such a long time. I don't go out anymore, at least not to places anyone would consider "happening" or "trendy." This is partly because I'm not a very "trendy" guy. It's also because the public is tiresome, and when you go to a club in Manhattan, you're getting the public-times-a-thousand. When I go to Bell Boulevard on a Wednesday night, it's me and the bartender and a baseball game, and if I got up and pushed aside some tables and started to dance, he'd whip out a pistol from behind the bar and put one behind my ear. Justifiably so.

It's all simply an exercise now. I'm not sure what, exactly, I'm exercising, but I stopped caring about this job a long, long time ago. I've always disliked bouncing -- sometimes a little, occasionally a lot -- but the one thing you couldn't argue was that I cared. I never knew precisely what I cared about, but there was always something that kept me trying.

To what end? There's no bigger purpose involved when you bounce. All that happens is a loss of faith in humanity, because all you see, all the time, is human garbage. I threw a guy out on Saturday night for putting his drink down on the floor in the middle of a marble hallway. Or maybe it was linoleum. Or granite. Who gives a shit? All I know is that it wasn't carpeted, and it's heavily trafficked, and the guy had to make a phone call and couldn't wait until he made it to the lobby, so he put the fucking thing on the floor. And somebody kicked it over. And then somebody slipped and fell. And the original guy, the one who caused the fucking problem in the first place by not being able to see five seconds into the future, dared me to put my hands on him and take him out.

Fuck you, dude.

I don't do that anymore. A year ago, I may have. Two years ago, definitely. Now? I called for backup. Called the entire front door staff to the lobby to give me a hand. I made the smart play, didn't have to touch the motherfucker, and went about my business. Until...

"Yo, have you seen my girlfriend?"

Another one of these. I want to be able to tell this guy I know who his girlfriend is. I want to be able to say that I'm such a huge fan of his that I can recite all of his warehouse stats by rote. I know exactly how many boxes he had on his hand-truck today because I follow his every move, being such a big fan and all. So, naturally, I know exactly who his girlfriend is, and I've seen her. How could I possibly be watching anyone else when they're here?

"No," I said. "Have you seen mine?" And so on. It keeps going, and he never gets the point, exactly.

Here is the essence of nightclub problems. This, for me, is what it all boils down to:

Our customers are so hideously ugly, frighteningly stupid and blatantly obnoxious that I can't understand how they're not homeless. With all three of these factors working against them, I fail to understand how they earn the money they spend at the club. I can't comprehend how these people make it through the world. You'd think people with such obvious disadvantages wouldn't get anything they want, yet they act as if we owe them everything.

Fighting is a perfect example of this. Can anyone honestly say they don't know why nightclubs employ bouncers? And yet...

"Don't fuckin' touch me!" they scream. "Get your fuckin' hands off'a me!"

What I know is that once this run is over -- this current bouncing evolution -- I won't be able to bounce again. Anywhere. Spend too many nights doing this shit, and your disregard for nightclub people turns to abject hatred. When you're supposed to be a mediator, these feelings don't place you in an advantageous position. It doesn't place you in any position at all. It kind of just makes you stand there and fume and want to spit on people.

Once I'm done, that's the legacy I'll leave. I'll wait until I have a nasty headcold before I quit, and I'll leave them a nice big pile of mucus right there on the fucking sidewalk. Don't slip on it.