Yesterday evening I was narcoleptic in spite of Cary Elwes. I blame Elvis. Elvis – it’s almost lonely now that I am back home from Graceland. I walked all over it wearing the Stitch hat I got for my birthday, and my only disappointment is that none of the million giftshops had Elvis underwear. I walked until my bootclad feet were tired, while everywhere played appropriate selections of Elvis singing. Upbeat in the morning, love songs in the evening as you walk back to the hotel with the inevitable yet well-chosen framed photos of a mostly young and deliciously glamourous Presley. The only thing I was tempted to steal was the leather wrist strap from the ’68 comeback special: the perfect accessory. But for all you fans, replicas are available at shopelvis.com.
Did I get saved by Elvis? Isn’t that why people go to Graceland? To be redeemed? I sat with him for a while, looking at all the birthday wishes. The house, after all this time, doesn’t feel lived in, but does feel like a real home, not a rich person’s megalomaniac imaginings. It was unexpected. Not redemption; but a break, a blissful interlude in the unseasonably warm weather. Reality is a little sharper afterwards – in focus and likely to give you cuts.
Oh Elvis, oh delectable Ten, love is not about being saved, extracted from the current mess. Love is about living the mess and knowing why, and trying to do it with grace, trying to learn, trying to love what you have here and now. But Ten, can we see the ’68 special close up? Reality is shored up by dreams after all, and the stamina is all in knowing when –and how - to take a break.