I Can Only Do Great Things If You Die
Steve Stringer

I made an evening of drinking mojitos and googling photos of the world's tallest man and thought surely this giant will die soon, and he did the following morning. Giants never last long. I felt implicated in his death, so the next night I ate Mexican and drank margaritas -- on the rocks with salt -- in his honor. I ordered a single frozen margarita for my deceased giant friend because it just seemed right. I imagined I was instead celebrating the birthday of the fallen giant and that he was sitting there with a sombrero perched atop his head. And the sombrero would scrape against a piñata lofted above him and come toppling to the ground. But it would take so long to float from his head to the floor that I could catch it in between, stand on my chair, wipe salsa from his cheek with the corner of my napkin, then place the sombrero back gently on his head. And I would snap my fingers, and a mariachi band would appear, singing songs and bringing flan with a single lit birthday candle.
It almost seemed unfair that a giant with such great lungs should blow out only one candle and that be that. So I remembered the hotel on the lake that poses as a beach resort. Artificial palm fronds and plastic rock gardens set the mood poolside, and they even dragged the lake bottom for a little gray sand to sink your toes in. I was feeling tart, and they make a stout piña colada, so I drove to the hotel with the memory of the giant buckled and cramped in the passenger seat. I swiped my driver's license in the keycard slot to the pool's gate, and it opened. They don't tell you this, but the slot doesn't discriminate. It just wants to be swiped. You could use anything -- a credit card even -- but I use my license because I want the slot to know my face. And the photo on the license is still from '94, a good year for my face.
We bought two coladas and found pool chairs by a woman reading. I tried to fathom the logistics of her and the giant having sex and asked her to do the same. She dog-eared her book and excused herself. I blew a slushy bubble in my drink. Giant laughed. We were drunk. And I couldn't risk losing my license to a DUI because I needed it for future coladas, so we got a room. And in the room I stood on the bathroom counter and brushed hours old tortilla crumbs from giant's teeth with water and a complimentary toothbrush. He smiled and pointed at the telephone on the wall because he'd never seen one in a bathroom before. I changed him into his pajamas and tucked him in to stiff sheets.
In the morning, he was gone. I just knew he would come back with lattes any second, so I waited. I left my driver's license facing up outside the door, so he could see my face and swipe his way back in. And when check-out came, I booked the room for another night. I waited for him to appear with Mai Tai's in hand. He did not.
World's tallest man, the world misses you. I miss you. Your chump Russian successor visits me at night. He smells of vodka, and I'm sorry. But Giant, I will check in to this room over and over again, until the palm fronds wilt and the rock gardens crumble to the sea.