The guy I replaced called it “the best dead end job you’ll ever have.” That job is overnight security at a historical motel in a gentrified shopping and cultural district. It doesn’t take a muscled behemoth, but wrangling drunks and de-escalating conflicts is not a job I ever imagined doing. It provides plenty of free time, and I see the city and its visitors in a strange new light.

At the end of each shift, I write a night report detailing any problems I had, and to provide a record for the day staff. Most of the time, it’s great. Other times, with   the strange, terrible, and absurd surprises unique to this nocturnal world, it’s really not.