The great Stephen King once wrote don’t sweat the small stuff, which I mulled over for long enough to realise that I don’t entirely agree with it. I get what he means: we all have enough major sorrow in our lives without freaking out over the day-today hangnails and such, but sometimes sweating the small stuff helps you make it through the big stuff. Take me, for example; I have had enough earth-shattering events happen to me, beside me and underneath me to have most people dribbling in a psych ward, but what I do is try not to think about it. Let it fester inside, that’s my philosophy. It’s gotta be healthy, right? Focus on the everyday non-lethal bullshit to take your mind off the landmark psychological blows that are standing in line to grind you down. My philosophy has gotten me this far, but my soldier sense tells me that things are about to come to a head.
There isn’t much call for deep thinking in my current job in Cloisters, New Jersey. We don’t do a lot of chatting about philosophical issues or natural phenomera in the casino. I tried to talk about National Geographic one night, and Jason gave me a look like I was insulting him, so I moved on to a safer subject: which of the girls have implants. This is one of our regular topics, so it’s familiar territory. He calmed down after a couple of swallows from his protein shake. Me talking about issues scared Jase more than a drunk with a pistol. Jason is the best doorman I have ever worked with, a rare combination of big and fast and with a lot more smarts than he lets on. Sometimes he’ll forget himself and reference a Fellini movie, then try to cover his tracks by giving the next guy through the door a hard time. Guy’s got secrets; we all do. He doesn’t feel like burdening me and I am absolutely fine with that attitude. We both pretend we’re dumb and we both suspect we aren‘t as dumb as we pretend. It’s exhausting.
Most nights we have time for chit-chat out front. Everything’s quiet until ten thirty or so. Generally just a few small-time players, under-the-radar guys. The party crowd doesn’t show up until the regular bars close. The bossman, Victor, who I will describe in detail later because this guy deserves a movie of his own he is such a dick and to talk about him now would ruin the flow, anyways Vic still wants a couple of bodies out front. Sometimes it takes two to shut down a fight if there are accusations flying around on the back table. It can get pretty heated in there, especially with the little guys. I blame Joe Pesci.
So I generally do the night shift, not that there’s a day shift per se. Twice or three times a month I pull doubles. I don’t really mind. How am I going to pass the time at home? Do push-ups and listen to Mrs Delano bitch? Tonight I get in at eight on the dot. It’s midweek so I’m looking forward to a quiet evening chewing power bars with Jason and talking surgery.
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