I haven’t yet reached my one year anniversary of “retiring” from the nightclub business, but I received an instant message from someone this morning that was something of a milestone in and of itself.
There are a handful of new bars and clubs opening in the city within the next few months, and my old bouncing crew – the guys I wrote about in the book – is running security at one or two of these places. The guy who IM’d me asked me whether I’d been invited to work, and I was very happy to tell him I hadn’t. I was also happy to let him know both that I don’t need to bounce any longer and that I don’t really give a shit that I haven’t been offered a spot.
In fact, I’m ecstatic about the fact that nobody ever calls me to work anymore. There nothing inherently wrong with bouncing – I mean, I did it long enough without worrying about the stigma of needing such a shit job to pay my bills – but there’s a sort of symbolism in having your old crew either think of you in different terms now or, as is the case here, not think of you at all with regard to filling security spots.
I made a lot of good friends in the nightclub business. Some of the people I’m in touch with on a daily basis are guys I’ve bounced with over the past decade. I value their friendship, and I consider myself fortunate to have worked with them in a venue that permitted me to gauge whether I could trust them in pressure situations. I’ve met some really solid people that I know I can call if anything serious ever comes up in my life, and I’m certain they feel the same way about me.
Still, I’m happy as shit to be out of the business. I’m even happier that I have a real career going and don’t need nightclub money any longer, knock wood. Take all your cheesy Guidos, skanks, promoters, superstar bartenders and antisocial management types and keep them. I no longer have any interest in doing anything but walking away quietly and STD-free.