Saturday, July 5, 2008
Inside the club:
So it's the night of the 4th of July, and I'm doing what I'm paid and tipped to do: imbibe the heads, throats, the egos, the bellies, and the livers of those who want to drink the night away.
Being a bartender is not for sissies. There is way too much stuff... too much drama and heartbreak, sadness, and b.s., and the dull ache of loneliness surrounding you.
You are hurled into this cacophonous arena, caught inside this strange land of poseurs and ventriloquists throwing their voices from the slick and jagged lips of the twisted. You're caught there… like some reluctant spectator, as the smooth and vicious volleys of nightlife play out.
It occurs to me that Everybody wants to be a star, at least after midnight, People want to shine brighter, appear hotter, and more brilliant than the rest. If you work in a bar, you begin to
intuit this, to know it by instinct, to detect it in the mirrors, and you can smell the smoke and fire of it. You hear its braggadocio convo, the slick words and slicker motives that make you go, "like Whoa!"
You know the scam, the scandal, the hustle, the quick buck, and even the opportunistic fuck, and it all just makes you lose faith in humanity, especially the drunk and distraught, the lonely and the most desperate kind.
This all paints a wildly psychedelic landscape inside the metal state. It etches a portrait of just how sad and scared people are. Some forge foundations of potentially core relationships on a lie, or a look, or size of one's privates, or someone's ability to make them laugh, or to forget, even momentarily. People build fast-food relationships on a tradition of paper houses that sit and waver upon acres of bullshit.
Once, just once, I'd like a night of nostalgia, of respect, of charm, of finesse. Just once I'd like some lively intelligentsia which rubs my cranium with a mouthful of lovely. Just once, I'd enjoy the give and take, the ebb and flow of a buoyant conversation that doesn't hurt so much, make me feel so nauseous, or used, abused, or a sad victim to the usual bullshit a go-go.
Some people can astound me with their sadness, this way they attempt, yet fail to mask it with manicures or too much make-up, with gym memberships, or impeccably groomed wildness, with French cologne or perfume to drive away the stink of it. I've seen and watched them pickle
their sadness into jars of superciliousness arrogance. Seen them erect their genital sadness, get it to smile, and to do risqué somersaults and tricks in the dark.
And watching these retarded little incidents take place, and working and pouring and listening to what my ears are held hostage to hearing, I've come to see the saddest truth of all: people,
even barflies, even drunks, even users, even thieves, even adulterers, even bitches, even bastards, even bullies, and even hacks like me… all want a little piece of acclaim.
It's lonely out there in this fog of horror; this unspoken, unnamed yet very real terror. It's sadder still to head back home all alone, untouched, unkissed, unfucked, unfelt, unloved. I guess.
Happy Belated Birthday, America!
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