There’s a 14-word Imagist poem by Ezra Pound that’s apropos of this night.
In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Huh? you say. The story goes that ol’ Ezra is describing a moment in the underground metro station in Paris in 1912 as he descended and saw the massive crowd of people. The faces became indistinguishable and reminded him of glistening wet petals. The same is occurring to The Doorman tonight. We are experiencing the largest crowd ever in my history of doormanship. The faces, people, and personalities are a pleasant blur. The jazz quintet is playing hard-driving jazz to keep the crowd glued to their seats… even the folding chairs we set outside in warmer weather with patio tables have been pulled into action by an enterprising renegade customer. We’re violating fire codes left and right but the crowd is feeding off the energy of the band. Who would dare to argue with a crowd fired up on Grover Washington’s Mr. Magic… the tenor blowing his horn inside out. An old jazz crooner who typically gets invited up to the bandstand to sing Sinatra and other standards has hobbled his way into view of the bandleader with hopes of an invite up. He wants a piece of the action. I think, “Not tonight Jack, it ain’t the right groove.” I’m having no issues at the door collecting covers that will pay the band and keep a good half-dozen lightbulbs burning, until I get a quartet of attractive women who I guess expect to breeze past me. They clearly feel entitled and are startled that I’m asking for the cover. I could see one of them weighing whether to hit me with the wounded fawn or Betty Boop ploy. I turned to her and gave her my best “Not tonight Jackie, it ain’t the right groove” Doorman look and they all swiveled on their high heels and left.