Monday, January 14, 2008


My bouncing life has always been a bit dichotomous.

One side of my mouth is always spouting the company line about how I’m one of the guys, and how bouncing, like most other jobs, is comprised mainly of good men – and, on occasion, women - looking for a second income because living in New York can be too expensive for those of us born without advantages. The side of my mouth that says these things insists I’m no better than any of the rest of the people with whom I work – that we’re all in the same boat and that the circumstances that landed us here haven’t necessarily conspired to make us any worse, as people, than anyone else in the world.

The other side of my mouth marks me as a hypocrite. That side of my mouth – I mostly stay quiet on this point, for obvious reasons – wonders, occasionally aloud, how the fuck I, of all people, ended up doing this shitbag job. Mind you, I’m not talking in terms of we here. This is about me, and how I tacitly consider myself to be somewhat better than the people around me. Whether it’s right or wrong to look at the world this way, this is what I think, and this is how I am.

I can see why he ended up as a bouncer, but me? Why me?

I think about this hypocritical side of my mouth when I start making value judgments, because I know I’m excessively judgmental at times and I don’t like feeling guilty about it. “Thinkin’ who da fuck I am” is part of my makeup, and I’ll not be apologizing for it anytime soon. If I see something that doesn’t exactly jibe with my value system, I’d be remiss in not pointing out its faults because an omission of this sort would go against my nature as a human being. I can’t not say – or write - something. This has gotten me in trouble in the past, but the consequences of silence – frustration and emasculation – are exponentially worse.

These concepts came into my head last night while I was working the door. It may surprise some of you, but I’ve always instinctively looked for the good in people when first meeting them. This, seemingly, is a good way to live – provided you keep your guard high enough to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of – but I’ve occasionally fallen into the trap of accepting a pleasing aesthetic as a measure of overall quality, i.e., if she’s that hot, she must be a good person.

Thing is, I’m tired of all of it now. I’m sick of giving some asshole the benefit of the doubt because he’s from my old neighborhood or because he took time out from posturing to give me a nod as he strutted past. Those days are long gone. My old neighborhood is filled the its very brim with assholes, none of whom would give me the time of day anymore. People don’t look at me and say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover. That Rob’s a good guy despite how he looks and acts.” This doesn’t happen because I neither look nor act like an asshole. I don’t need for people to have to peel back layer upon layer of assholia to find my inner “good guy.”

So I'll no longer be doing any peeling, inside the club or out. I don't have any more time.