The Big Guy

Al Billings

I fell in line behind this guy one morning, shuffling and puffing his way up South Congress avenue here in south Austin. He must have weighed three hundred pounds, and he creaked and groaned with visible discomfort, rolls of fat wadded around his mid-section, sweat saturating his too-snug tee-shirt. In his right hand he carried a handful of box wrenches, looking as though he was preparing to fix a car when he’d rather have a stiff drink or smoke a joint. He looked to me as though he could simply keel over and expire.

When he exhaled, he sounded like a steam locomotive struggling to climb greased tracks, and I found myself wishing that an EMS vehicle could follow him, just in case he took a dive and landed in the street. He was a stinky mess, and I gave him wide berth. But who knows. Maybe he’ll win the lottery and light cigars with hundred-dollar bills.

September 25, 2013 5:40 pm

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