There was this massive guy in McDuff’s—just freakishly huge, like six foot ten, with scraggily Neil Young hair and big old army jacket—making him look a little bit like Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. This guy drew a lot of attention in the bar. You could tell some people were thinking this giant guy would be trouble.
A woman I knew said she’d seen this guy before in a nearby town, wearing a giant dress—but I didn’t really believe her—because, well, this woman was always just saying shit. I looked over at him and I saw that the giant was drinking a White Russian—just like the Dude in The Big Lebowski—and somehow I knew that this guy was not going to cause trouble.
The band broke into a serious reggae version of “Fire on the Mountain” by the Dead—and so I got up to dance—because I always dance whenever I hear the Dead—well, I sort of dance, but mostly I just sort of sway in slow motion.
Next thing I know the giant is dancing next to me—in this lumbering but graceful sort of manner. So, in a way, I danced with the giant. When the song ended the giant nodded to me—in a Dudely sort of way—and then he just lumbered off.
And so, three days later, when I saw the giant on the channel nine news—having been arrested for assaulting a police officer with extreme violence—I knew—deep down in my soul—that it wasn’t true . . . that the officer had just been intimidated by this freaky giant—just as I’d been—before I danced with him.
Paul Rogalus teaches English at Plymouth State University. His full-length play Crawling From the Wreckage was produced in New York City by the American Theater of Actors, and his one act plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Boston. A chapbook of his micro-stories entitled “Electrified Skeletons” was published in 2014 by The Medulla Review Publishing.