Timur was a fellow security guard at the art museum. A couple of times a week, he and I would grab a beer after work. He was exceedingly average in some respects: twenty-six years of age, a few inches shy of six foot tall, dishwater-blonde hair. He lived with his girlfriend, who was pregnant. Yet Timur was exotic in some ways, as well: he moved to America at thirteen, spoke a heavily accented English, and his demeanor reminded me of the sort of desperate teenagers that perform death-defying stunts on foreign-language YouTube videos. The way that he carried himself, his body might have been made to soak up tension. He spoke very little about his life, and his infrequent flashes of extreme rage made me wonder if he wasn’t spiritual cousins with Gary Gilmore.
Security work can make one batty. Imagine standing up straight in an airtight room, twelve feet square, for days on end. The tedium can have a violent impact on one’s mood.