Neon Moon, No. 5

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Neon Moon, No. 5 – The Doorman (2019). Acrylic and fabric on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

The club entrance was in a gangway off a side street, and was lit by a garish bulb. Dirty and exposed to the elements, it provided atmosphere, but little illumination. Almost as if keeping with that theme, the place had hired a doorman who spoke in scat phrases, sometimes wore a topknot, and even in temperate weather cloaked himself in a black leather duster that made everything but his face and hands disappear into the surrounding darkness.

The place was popular with club kids and local toughs, but, curiously, there were spaces in the nights were has was alone, or nearly that, and he would sing, or kind of yodel into the empty gangway darkness. In winter he would sometimes spell out the name of the club in the snow with his Dr. Martens, or burn a girl’s initials into the accumulation with the cup of hot tea they would bring him from inside.

He carried a piece of chalk in his coat pocket to write song lyrics, The Clash, mostly, on the black walls of the doorway. On the rare occasions that they’d play such a song inside, he’d go at the wall in a frenzy trying to keep up with the cadence. Once, hearing Morrissey’s crooning Girlfriend in a Coma, he drew a simple heart on the wall and then ran to and fro in the gangway like a caged animal for a moment before reclaiming his station as if nothing unusual had just happened. Rumor was that he’d had a girlfriend, or a sister that had died long ago, but nobody asked him. Even a gangway performance space has some rules of decorum. Besides, the show he put on each night was part of the reason one visited the place, sometimes even the only reason. Many partiers would divert through the gangway while on their way somewhere else, just to see what he was doing, which was sometimes nothing. They would search the wall for his chalk marks, or the snow for his tributes, and finding nothing, look up at him with a smirk as he held his teacup and saucer in fingerless gloves, pinkie out, quietly sipping.

 

-Danny Grosso

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