His job was to stand at the front door and do crowd control. They told him to keep the Riff Raff out, so to speak, and to make sure the crowd was the right mix. He put a little rope across the entrance so that there was one level of separation between him and the people who wanted in. The rope added authority and made it seem less personal when he declined entrance to someone. He developed a method of eyeing people up and down, ceremoniously detaching the rope to let them in before hooking it back and examining the next person.
Starting about 11:30 pm is when the crowds would start to really build up. The bigger the crowd the pickier he’d become. As the crowd grew behind the rope people would offer him money to get in. On a good night, and if he played his cards right, he could make more in 30 minutes than the bar paid him for the whole weekend. The trick was to act like he was doing the people a favor by taking their money.
He was a dealer in status. He took it away by the way he treated them on one side of his little rope and then sold it back to them when he unhooked it and let them in.
The show at the door had some unspoken rules. For example if someone tipped him well once, then the next time he saw them, he’d make a big deal about ushering them right past the crowd. Also, once someone was “inside”, they could come out and pull one of their friends to the front of the line. The people who bought their way in would come out and look the crowd over to see if there was any body they wanted to pull out of obscurity. Sometimes it was yes, sometimes no.
Occasionally women he’d let in would wander back up to the door after they’d had a drink or two and ask to help out. He’d let them unhook the little rope or check ID’s. Usually older women who looked rich, he could tell they got a kick out of it. Late at night they’d touch his arm and whisper in his ear conspiratorially. Things like, “I wish I had your job. I’d be so much meaner than you are.”
Virtue alienates – Joseph Brodsky
He drifts along on the surface, stopping when things get hard, thinks long but not well, confuses recitation for reason, worry for effort.
He feels ridiculous. He doesn’t really do anything. He doesn’t really know anything. He is what he can buy. The call goes out inside pictures of the family vacation and patriotic memes, fantasy football and posts about how to win at business.
He sees a man surfing on top of the wave, not sinking, but having fun. Who ever thought that life was fair in the first place? It’s about winning or should be. The code is broken. Someone hears at last.
He knows that if people don’t want to buy what you have to sell they won’t talk to you in the first place. The secret is to stay in front of them until they talk themselves into buying. Keep them inside the circle. Don’t let them wander off. It doesn’t really matter what you say but that you say it in the right tone of voice and to the right people and enough times.
He can’t be as crazy as he seems or as stupid. How did he make all of that money? It’s got to be an act. Of course, they thought the same thing about Hitler, when there was still time. When he was hiding in plain sight behind a clown’s mask.
The founding fathers hated each other. Jefferson called John Adams a Hermaphrodite. They ended on good terms though. Maybe it’s not so bad. He ties them in knots. Finally someone who can speak his mind. Is politics so different from business? All of them lie. Set everything on fire and see what happens.