I have no influence anywhere. None whatsoever. I wait in lines. I pay cover charges -- hypothetically speaking, of course. I don't know anyone, anywhere, nor do I ever claim to. If I can't do something on my own merit -- or with whatever's sitting in my wallet -- I'm pretty well fucked. If you're with me, and you don't know anyone, we're not getting in.
The irony here is that I'm actually in the nightclub business -- have been for quite a while, as you're all aware -- and I still don't know a soul. During the course of my nearly three-year-long bouncing "comeback," I've been in some fairly prominent bouncing positions. I've worked a busy high-profile door. I've been among the central figures in a handful of well publicized -- within the industry, at least -- incidents. There are some serious, dyed-in-the-wool "club celebrities" who'd easily recognize me if they saw me walking down the street out of "uniform." Whether they'd acknowledge me or not -- or I, them -- is beside the point. I may be anonymous here on this site, but I'm not a complete non-entity in nocturnal Manhattan.
Still and all, I can't get us in. I won't namedrop, for I've no names to drop. None that count, anyway. Take me to any club worth a shit in New York, and I'm sure I'll know somebody. I have a nice little constituency to my credit amongst club promoters here, because I have a history of "taking care of" their people at the door without asking for anything in return. I don't ask people for reciprocals when I do things for them, because that entails forming relationships, and relationships are hardly what I'm looking for in the nightclub environment. I've done well thus far without them. Relationships with people who aren't bouncers are favor-based, and I don't want to enter into anything with people who carry scorecards. Scorecard-carriers, you'll find, are just the sort of people with whom you're bound to become entangled should you open yourself to the possibility.
Despite all this, I still know nobody. What I'm referring to here is really knowing people to the point where I'd drop their name in order to get something. The same is true of most people. Nobody fucking knows anyone in New York. The difference between "them" and "me," however -- and this is how I'll continue breaking the world down until further notice -- is that I'll turn around and go home if anyone calls my bluff. Then again, I won't ever make the bluff play in the first place. The size of your penis has no bearing on the size of mine. If yours is bigger, I'll simply congratulate you and let the matter rest. I won't stuff a sock in my pants in order to press the issue. Unlike many, I don't maintain an unjustifiably high opinion of myself and my "pull."
Unfortunately, that isn't how it works around here. Nobody gives up without a monumentally irritating fight. You're not barring them. They're in. All they have to do is go to the window and pay, and they've got it, but they'd rather stand on the sidewalk for an hour -- in rain, snow, sleet or hail -- until you acknowledge them and whatever bullshit "status" they're claiming.
This is class warfare, orchestrated by people devoid of any. It's a process of subordination, and I've never understood exactly what place such things have in a civilized society. You're out there long enough, dealing with the public, and you learn that the only thing some people want is for you to back down to them. To know your place and subordinate yourself to their stupid fucking whims. There's nothing rational about it after a while, because it eventually has nothing to do with what's utilitarian within a specific situation. It's about breaking other human beings down and making them capitulate.
This is the problem I have with New York. Getting things done is never the issue, no matter how timely your response is, or how much care you put into the work. No matter what service you perform for people here, there's more to consider than simply giving the customer what he's paying for. Everyone requires an ass-kissing of some sort. Nobody's happy until they've won. The transaction is never complete without someone having to eat a jumbo-sized plate of shit, even after the goods have changed hands to everyone's satisfaction. There has to be a yielding of power to go along with it, and it's all just a great big fucking joke to me because I wasn't raised to be a goddamned submissive, a quality that renders me virtually useless in the service industry.
I chafe at this "think who the fuck you are" shit. I always have, and I think it's what makes me an effective door guy. Offer me the requisite lines -- "Apparently, you don't know..." -- and the world tinges red. And who are you, really? Just some lucky motherfucker with a few bills to throw around? Another swinging dick who demands my obeisance because you play make-believe for a living on TV?
Money generates hope for the rest of us. It really does. You can overcome any shortcoming imaginable if you've got enough. You don't have to do shit. Don't have to be anyone worth respecting. You don't have to fight in Iraq, or save a kid from a burning building, or even stay at home in your house and raise your fucking family like a "normal" human being. All you need in New York is a nice stack of cash in your pocket and deference is yours if you're in the right situation to demand it. Which, of course, is any situation when you're an arrogant piece of shit.
What are you when you're a bouncer, anyway? What are you when you subject yourself to this shit night after night, month after month? You're a sucker, is what you are. A pawn. A big, fat, overstuffed pawn in somebody else's fucking chess game where everybody else is making money and you don't have a stake in any of it until you get hurt, or you get fired. That's what nightclub bouncing is all about. That's what it is to be working-class. White trash. Fuck you.
You're a piece of shit, is what you are. Same thing as everyone else trying to make an honest living around here without stepping all over someone else's fucking back. Same as anyone naive enough to have missed the entitlement train when it left the station. Nothing but a piece of shit.
Old resentments die hard.