As some of you may know, or for those of you who hate reading titles of things, I work at an upscale club in Chinatown as a coat checker. I sit in a 2′ by 20′ closet, sit on a stool, and hang up coats. I work from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., sometimes make $120 a night in tips, and get so many free drinks that I rarely remember anything that happens after midnight. I decided to document my Sunday night shift at the cluhhhhhhh.
8:48: Settled into the closet, was asked if I wanted a drink. I said “surprise me” — Bartender places a spicy red drink in my hands. I nickname it Spicy McBourbonpants.
9:03: Checked a scarf and two umbrellas. Arranging them on the hanger was like failing geometry all over again.
9:22: Guy in front of me is dispelling the tension with his date by comparing his iPhone 5 to her 4s. Godspeed, you reckless son of a bitch.
9:30: Swagnificent guy tips me $2. “Half now, half later.” He winks. Am I pregnant?
9:58: Text from my manager: “Your ass looks extra white boy today.” Mission accomplished.
10:02: Guy says he has a hat to check, tells me it’s a tall order. I tell him “conquer” is my middle name. He doesn’t hear me.
10:28: A man has lost his umbrella, I pull out one particular umbrella three times, each time he says it isn’t his. It’s his, he laughs, takes it, and leaves.
10:31: A second person has asked me my name. I don’t know if I should use “Jack-Jack” or “Slappy.” I go with “Cool Dave.”
10:40: The house band has started playing “Creep” — I hope no one gets weirded out when they hear “Run. Run. Run. RUUUUUUN!” coming from the closet.
11:13: Spotted: OTPHJ. Over-the-pants-handjob.
11:19: The cool bouncer fist bumps me, but it’s dark and I go in for a high five. It just occurred to me I’m paying my dues. Like, right now.
11:30: I made a rap to pass the time: “J-money-Glass, I’m the coat checking demon. Every jacket I handle is dripping in semen. It’s a well known truth that a perk of my profession is I come complimentary with a love-making session.”
11:42: Two people are pointing to something on the ceiling. Other people are looking, I’m pretty sure conducting a social experiment, and are also jerks.
12:05: This drink I just got handed tastes like caramel. I am contracting something incurable tonight.
12:23: Guy asks me how my night is: I tell him it’s fine and ask him the same question. He says it was dumb, because he bought too many drinks for “dumb white girls.” He then leads a white girl outside with him.
12:45: I just hung something up so furry and amorphous that I actually thought it was an animal’s carcass. #bonerwreck
12:48: A pretty couple just asked me if I knew of any other lounges open around this time. I asked “classy or trashy?” We all laughed and I died inside as I realized that I frequent dive bars more often than I frequent my own kitchen.
12:57: Words of wisdom from an honest first-timer to the lounge after I tell him how strange it is being here. “You are where you are.”
1:12: Swagnificent has given me part two of two of my tip — as promised. My faith in humanity has officially been restored.
1:20: It’s getting late. That magical hour where everyone is upset over something is upon us.
1:26: “My friend, I have a favor. In my jacket is a water bottle full of wine,” he tosses a $5 bill into my tip cup, “could you grab it for me?”
1:40: This place is still packed. I don’t get it, doesn’t anybody have work tomorrow morning? Isn’t anyone else tired?
1:51: A haiku:
God damn it. Last call.
It was fun licking your face.
Add me on Facebook!
2:01: The final customers collect their coats and shell out the shekels. A drunk gang of Londoners murmur among themselves in a drunken stupor: “Ay, Philly cheese? Philly cheesesteak? Yeah, Philly cheese!”
2:20: Pop into a car. Driver looks at me and says: “Somebody’s been smoking some good weed, bro! Wasn’t you?” Wasn’t me. I just want to go home and sleep.
Every night at the swanky Chinese lounge is relatively similar to the last. Unwarranted dance parties, unapologetic flirting, hand jobs which occur OVER the pants. There are those moments that happen which make each night unique and, well, weird. I hope this experience shed some light into a world which no one ever thinks about. What will you do with all this useless information?