Sunday, July 15, 2007

Elvis Man

I met him outside the 7-11. Shorter than me & just as thin, probably in his mid-60s, he had a 1970s Elvis Presley hair style & wore large amber-tinted sunglasses, you could see his eyes; neatly attired in a Heartbreak Hotel teeshirt underneath a light blue polyester long sleeve with medium high collar, quality jeans, tan sandals. He wore an Elvis watch on his left wrist, the words "Love me tender" tattooed on his right. He drove a maroon 1991 Corvette with the older blue New Jersey plates ELVIS56. I was impressed with the plates & said so. He admitted Elvis wasn't known to be particularly fond of 'vettes. He was looking forward to driving down to Memphis for the anniversary of El's death next month, an annual pilgrimage, but this one is the special 30th. He lives somewhere in the area. I'd have chatted with him more but we were interrupted by a loopy woman, & when I left he was patiently & kindly listening to her pouring out her life story of child abuse & being saved by Jesus. Completely comfortable with himself. Nice guy.

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Since Gaylord Fields wasn't able to DJ my wedding 10 years ago, the future Mrs. Contrarian and I hired an Elvis impersonator who was also featured on the TV show "Cops," albeit in his day job garb as a Jersey City police officer. Do all Elvis impersonators follow the mantra of "to protect and serve?"
It was interesting that the woman focused her attention on a guy who comfortably affected Elvis' look, but was not in character as Elvis, although he might play that part professionally at other times. So even an ordinary man taps iconic power. He understood that with this power comes a responsibility to maintain the positive myth. It's very close to religion. A few days earlier, there was a panhandler at 7-11 who looked like Jesus, & I couldn't decide if it was deliberate or not.
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