The problem with being someone who’s not constantly grinning and glad-handing is that people eventually start thinking you’re an angry guy. That’s my problem. People meet me and think I’m an angry guy. They think this because I’m so dead set on being left alone by assholes and inconsiderate cocksuckers that my social reticence tends to leak into the ebb and flow of my relationships with people who aren’t assholes and aren’t inconsiderate.
Thing is, the vast majority of people I come across at work are assholes and are inconsiderate. With me, at work, I’m used to being ignored and shelved with the second-tier and the less important – in places and positions where nobody’s getting treated like any kind of star. I’ve moved through the ranks because I’m honest and effective, and not because I’m particularly charismatic or aesthetically pleasing at the door. I’m not even all that big, as you’ll all eventually find out. I am, however, pretty fucking good at what I do, which is why I get my respect from the people who need me where I am.
When you come to my door, none of this matters to you. You don’t want to flirt and hobnob with the likes of me. I have calluses on my hands anyway, and sometimes they get scratchy when I stand outside all night picking at them. It’s the faces and mouthpieces that you’ll want to get in with, because they’re the ones who’ll make you feel good. They’ll give you what you want and make you feel important – like a somebody, for once – because that’s what you’re doing down here in the first place, isn’t it?
I’m happiest being quiet at the bottom of the pile. No show. All go.
I’ve never developed a taste for all the disingenuous bullshit that goes on at the door, so I’m just an afterthought to most. People in the nightclub business offer respect based upon the amount of money an individual can spend. I grant mine commensurate with how much they contribute. Who am I? I’m nobody. I don’t contribute much, but I destroy nothing. When politicians come into the club – and they do, for various reasons - some bouncers fawn all over them because they’re known. I fawn over nobody, known or otherwise. Politicians are people who spend inordinate hours convincing me to give them jobs. Like me so you can have the privilege of paying me. After they get these jobs, they turn around and fuck me sideways. They should be holding the fucking door for me.
When you act like I do, and say the things I do, people classify you. They take your file and they toss it into an assigned slot. They think you’re angry and they want to know why. When you fail to tell them what they need to hear – mostly because you don’t think it necessary – they smile at you condescendingly and tell you what they want you to know about life. They feel the need to “throw the angry guy a line.” They want to haul you back on board the USS Goodwill so you can strut around the deck with a big juicy grin on your face like all the other mindless jerkoffs to whom weekend nights at Club Guido actually mean something more than a paycheck and sore feet.
When you’re in the minority, it rarely occurs to anyone that you could be right. The smirking majority isn’t likely to wake up and see that there’s nothing healthy or positive or good about a gathering of thousands of drunken, drug-addled pieces of human garbage, most of whom are carrying sexually transmitted diseases. If I don’t think there’s anything of value to be found in such a place, there might be some substance to what I’m saying because I’ve spent more time there than most. I look around and see people doing destructive things to themselves and to others and I don’t like being there and I don’t like them. I like the money I make as a result of all of it, but this doesn’t necessarily mean I have to do my job with a smile on my face.
Still, they wink at you as if they know better. They laugh at you as though they’ve been enlightened and you haven’t. They talk to you as if it’s just that simple to “do the right thing” and come over to their side, as if the right thing to do is to accept these people and their bullshit as something natural and correct. “You’ve strayed,” they say, “but all you have to do is turn that frown around and come back to the flock. Not everyone is an enemy, you know.”
What they don’t take into account is that there are things – I’ll call them “truths” – that are absolute. I know these things better than I know my own name, and even the smiles and chortles of those who think they “understand the problem” can’t overcome the fact that certain of these truths are universal.
These people who come to my club three nights a week and drink and drug themselves into oblivion? They’re not good people. They’re people with psychological problems that will inevitably devolve into physical ones. Most of them suffer from massive chemical dependencies. Those who don’t are simply world class narcissists who can’t go through five minutes of their lives without shamelessly drawing attention to themselves and everything they own. And none of them – not a single motherfucking one of them – has any idea how to coexist with the rest of the population in a reasonable, considerate, hassle-free manner.
If I play their game – and smile and laugh and “go along to get along” – the natural order of things comes out of alignment for me. I’m a flounder on the dock. If I don’t play their game, I’m a curiosity. An angry guy at whom the crowd can laugh and roll its collective eyes.
Being different, however, doesn’t make me wrong.