‘Take it!’ a woman spits her words at me with aggression, throwing an item in my direction. I smile a well rehearsed pretend smile as her long fur coat now lay upon my slender arm. I laugh internally as she struts away with false confidence. Yet another Z-List celebrity, new on the block, swishing around in her fake-fur coat and first (and probably only) pair of red-soled Louboutin heels. I shake my head in dismay as she fades out of my line of sight. My colleague, Marc, startles me as he rests his firm hand on my shoulder.
‘Another one, huh?’ he references in the direction that the woman had made her way a few moments previously. It wasn’t unusual to be treated like dirt, in fact it was a nightly occurrence. It was easier for Marc though, he knew how to handle it, whilst I tend to run from conflict. Tanned, handsome and well-built, people look at him and think twice before they holler. Whilst I… Well, I’m still new to the job and haven’t quite mastered the gaze which I can only label as the ‘Don’t you dare mess with me’ gaze.
‘Nevermind, Bud’ he pats me on the back and returns to his role in security. I continue to take in coats from walking figures, some gliding past me like I’m not worthy of a simple greeting or acknowledgement.
From here on in, the night is long, nothing to do until the end of the evening. I often pass the time by thinking about those who have been less than pleasant, creating nicknames for them. I rename the ‘lady’ who found it appropriate to throw her coat at me earlier in the evening – FakeFur.
My mind then turns to those who choose to wear fur, like FakeFur herself. Did she realise that her coat was fake? Is she naïve enough in her newly-found fame to believe that it’s real and just doesn’t care about where it came from? These are the thoughts that swirl around my brain as I stand alone.
I begin to hear a familiar tone rise up from down the corridor, shrill and angry.
‘YOU WISH YOU WERE ME; DON’T TOUCH ME; YOU CAN’T HAVE THIS; YOU’RE NOTHING’ and other such alcohol induced nonsenses echo out around the building as the sound nears ever closer to me. The same phrases are repeated verbatim, as finally the voice’s raging owner comes into sight, being dragged in my direction by Marc.
‘He was unconscious when I found him!’ she protests her innocence to me as we make eye contact as they near, lowering her tone just a little for the first time this evening. I dart a look at Marc in confusion, who rolls his eyes in reply. I know what that look means, too. I decide to not press him any further and go on to mind my own business, wandering into the cloakroom in search of FakeFur’s fake-fur coat.
Retrieving the coat from it’s home for the evening, a small plastic bag hits the floor with a sad plop. Filled with a suspicious white powder, this was not a new sight for me. Many of these Z-listers have more money than sense, I often think. I’m sure that it’s what I believe it to be, choosing not to adopt the hypothesis that FakeFur was hiding her laundry powder in her pocket for when she returns home to do some late-night cleaning.
I exit the cloakroom and pass both the coat and small plastic bag to Marc, who was too busy escorting the troublemaker out of the building to really notice what he now held in his hand.
FakeFur was now making noises that could give the most notorious mythological Banshee a run for her money. The door slammed behind the struggling pair. Her taunts continue to penetrate the walls as her fists lay into the door. I listen enthusiastically, unashamedly entertained by her delusion.
‘SECURITY LOVE TO KICK OUT WHOEVER THEY WANT ‘CAUSE THEY INSECURE; YOU KNOW I’M BETTER THAN YOU; I AINT DONE SHIT’.
The last comment is a particular favourite of mine. I let out an involuntary chortle. A new group walk towards me, politely discussing their plans for the rest of the evening. They notice the wails from outside.
‘What’s all the commotion?’ one of the group asks, concerned.
I shrug in reply, hand them their respective coats, and wish them a good evening.