I’m only reporting what I heard
While recently viewing ELVIS on HBO Max, I remembered this odd fact (or allegation, not sure which?) Elvis Presley Wore His White Sweat Socks While Having Sex. Which in turn reminded me of this previously posted piece.
Part 1. Present and Past
Patti is vacuuming our stairway that leads down to our basement where my office is and where I’m sitting right now.
This entire space, our 1500+ sq. feet daylight basement, surrounds me with pictures of myself and/or posters of past speaking gigs.
My only excuse for the egomaniacal use of this space is that Patti did it, she had this shit framed and hung it in celebration of my/our career.
Okay, to be honest, I didn’t try very hard to stop her:
There are oversized, framed copies of the covers of my books.
Framed library and school visit propaganda.
Certificates of Achievement, literary awards, the advertisement for the Hollywood Play, a large presentation of our White House invitation and visit (the 2006, National Book Festival).
The whole bottom half of our house is a huge gaudy salute to my career, a trophy room, and a celebration of my rather modest accomplishments as an author, throughout the first decade of this millennium.
Again, it’s all Patti’s fault.
On one of my hundreds of trips around the country, I had a chance on an off-day to visit Graceland, Elvis’s 1970s mansion/estate. The place is like a full-sized blow-up of a miniature déclassé shag-carpet covered time capsule, like an insect, saved whole, from a kazillion years ago suspended in that amber-looking resin stuff.
My favorite part of the tour was the squash court which was turned into the place where all Elvis’s Gold records were displayed.
The room is hung, floor to ceiling, with framed Gold records dating back to the 1950s. They cover the entire room.
Patti just asked me if I’d mind her vacuuming just outside my office. “Will it bother you?” she called out to me.
And I said, “No.”
She said “thanks.”
And I answered before I could stop myself, in my very best Elvis imitation, “No… Thaaank YOU… Thaaank you verah much.”
Part 2. Elvis Kissing Priscilla…
…is this black and white photograph taken at their wedding.
And in it you see her smiling and him planting one on her cheek.
From what we’ve heard, he always slept in his tee shirt and white socks.
Elvis started dating her when she was 14, and he was in his early 20s.
But none of these details seem as funny/odd/weird/ (to me anyway), as the title of this poem, “Elvis Kissing Priscilla.”
Doesn’t it sound like a Greek tragedy or an 18th Century English painting of antiquity and iniquity?
Nothing seems as strange nor even as equally bizarre as the thing itself, a moment of time/space captured trying to be this thing it became. Ancient and yet immediately relevant.
Now and then. Then and Now.
Part 3. Patti and Me and Our Basement, Again
Just like the title Elvis Kissing Pricilla, doesn’t this title, Patti and Me and Our Basement, Again, already capture everything we need to say about this subject?
Before I became, as Patti mockingly calls me, “The Fabulous Mr. Terry,” when I was a kid, maybe 15 or 16 years old, I remember one time my mother was vacuuming the room where I sat reading a comic book, not asking me to lift up my feet/legs so she could vacuum under them. Which I did, nonetheless.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to say to my mom, who died in 1988, “Thaaank you… thank you verah much.”