Stop staring at me

Some nights, my main duty at the music venue isn’t working the door checking IDs or scanning concert tickets. On the more fun nights I’m actually in the venue during the show. I’m stationed at the curtain that leads back to the green room and the loading area for bands. My job is pretty simple when I’m working the venue. I essentially check for VIP wristbands given to the band members or their crew. Occasionally somebody’s parents or photographers are given these as well. If you don’t have a wristband, you don’t get past me. And believe me I’ve heard all the stories of why you deserve to go back there. But none of them work. I’m stubborn like that.

I also keep an eye on the green room itself since everybody’s backpacks and purses and laptops are in there. Since there is a loading door I’m also keeping an eye on everybody’s gear and supervising their load-in and load-out. I help the bands out and answer a ton of questions. Other duties would include removing people from the stage, and basic crowd control. I’m watching the crowd as they watch the show. If I see someone who is too intoxicated, or is making women feel uncomfortable by touching them, or the occasional fight, then I would physically escort them out of the venue. But basically, I get to watch a show for free, a mere 8 feet from the stage. I get to meet a lot of local and touring bands. Sometimes I get a free CD or act as a tour guide to recommend other Portland places for them to explore.  I like working in the venue.

One particular evening I was tuning out from the band’s performance a little bit because it just wasn’t my thing. We have all genres of music at this venue, and every now and then there is bound to be a group that I just don’t like. So I was scanning the crowd and people watching. The most exciting things that happened tonight were when I had to politely ask some people to not stand on the steps to the stage, and when I had to remind a patron that you couldn’t actually smoke pot in the venue.

But I noticed a young woman standing by herself pretty close to me, and she was watching me more than the band onstage. She was of the hippie variety based on her clothes and jewelry, with blonde curly hair. She would look directly at me and then look away. Then wait a bit, and look at me again. There was nobody else anywhere near me, so I knew that she was clocking me. She wasn’t looking over eagerly for the band to come out and sign autographs, because the band was currently onstage performing. There is absolutely no reason to be staring at me this much.

Maybe I looked like somebody she knew and she was trying to figure out if I was that person. Maybe she thought I was odd-looking. Maybe she thought I was smoking hot. Maybe this was the most awkward flirting attempt I have ever seen in my life. But my experience is that women don’t particularly look at me dozens of times in public without at least coming over and saying something.

Here’s my internal dialogue during this endless eyeballing:

Woman stares at me.

“Ok seriously? Come on, stop looking at me.”

Woman stares at me.

“Again, really? That’s like the 12th time.”

Woman stares at me.

“What, do I have food in my hair or something?”

Woman stares at me.

“For the love of gawd, stop staring at me, the show is up there on the stage.”

Woman stares at me.

“If you look at me one more time….Oh great, you did.”

Woman stares at me.

“This is fucking ridiculous.”

Woman stares at me.

“If I was staring at you like this, you’d be creeped out. Should I be creeped out?”

After what felt like 25 minutes of this, she finally wanders over to me. No alarms were going off, she seemed like a nice person who wasn’t even drunk. She sheepishly starts a conversation with me. She said, “Hi there, I’m not from this area and I just wanted to ask if you could get me some cocaine?”

I paused. A long time. I wanted to say a lot of things to her. I wanted to ask her if she could read my shirt which clearly has SECURITY across the front. I wanted to ask her if she saw the walkie-talkie on my chest. I wanted to ask her if she noticed the earpiece I was wearing. I wanted to ask her if she really thought that asking a security guard for illegal drugs was a smart idea. I wanted to ask her if she could piece together that I’m the guy who kicks people out of this establishment, and interfaces with law enforcement on a regular basis. Of all the people in this 300 person capacity music venue, you determined that I was your best bet for scoring drugs?

But instead I touched my walkie-talkie to draw her attention to it and my security shirt, and said, “Well, I’m security staff here, so I’m not the person you want to ask about that. However, I am sure that SOMEBODY here in the crowd might possibly be able to help you.” Always the diplomat, I gotta take the high road. Even when somebody does something this stupid.

She got super embarrassed and apologized for offending me. Over and over again. She mentioned something about getting a drink and wandered away pretty quickly. I didn’t see her at all for the rest of the night. She probably wisely went home. And there’s another first. While on shift as a security guard I’ve been offered free drugs numerous times, but never have I been asked to sell somebody drugs.

And now that I think about it, it was probably my dreads. I’m just too approachable.






2 comments on “Stop staring at me

  1. I’m sure the cocaine was just a ruse. Go with the smoking hot thing. 😉

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