Some part of it is a routine:
"That'll be $2, please."
Hang up coat.
Hand customer a numbered tag.
"No you can't have my phone number. Enjoy the show!"
Smile and dismiss with a wave...
The rest is unpredictable, a barely controlled chaos I often find equally soothing. It is a fascinating microcosm, my little CoatCheck world, and one full of contradictions. I am the observer and the observed, a part of but apart from the melee.
Sometimes it's mildly amusing, like a few weekends ago when I looked up from my book to see REM's Peter Buck repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to pee. Twice, I saw guys dart into the bathroom ahead of him.
"You'll have to be quicker than that!" I said with a chuckle.
"Yeah" he replied sighing. He slumped heavily into the stool next to my window.
"Aren't you playing tonight? Why don't you go downstairs (to the green room)?" I asked.
"We go on in 5 minutes. This'll be faster"
I doubted it.
I gave him a "suit-yourself" shrug and went back to reading Eduardo Galeano's musings on Latin American politics.
Much more interesting.
And then there are nights when...well, that's best left for another blog...