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My Girlfriend Loves Elvis
By Scott Wayne Indiana

Silver post cards line the walls, black velvet tapestries hang loosely with ruffled edges and memories of Tijuana (where we got them for 3 dollars each), images of hips gyrate rotate pulsate from screen to bed to couch to nearly every moment of my day. He is alive and well in the minds of girlfriends all over the country. He has not left the building. He never gained weight, and his talent never subsided with the pills and grits that carried him through the days. His face remains soft yet chiseled, his motion is both sexy and alluring as though he speaks to each girlfriend individually, his eyes drawing them in. What can be done?

After seven consecutive girlfriends have lined me up next to "El" (as one ex so eloquently named him), I have decided there is no escaping this dangerous comparison. Each of the past three girls left me when I did my best rendition of "Jailhouse Rock" under the bright lights of karaoke. Needless to say, I will try a different tune next time, and will probably drink fewer shots of tequila, which always carry me through episodes of public singing with ample confidence despite disparaging laughter. When I assess myself in the mirror, my rhinestone white suit shines under the mirror ball in my bathroom, but I just don’t look the same as the man who can be seen on refrigerator magnets all over the country.

I even went to Graceland, and knelt down in front of his tombstone after laying down a dozen roses and asked for guidance. There were several of us, boyfriends with similar problems. We winked at each other in a union of commonality, and equally waited for the compass of The King to point us toward true love, apart from his legacy. After several minutes of calm meditation, despite the increasing number of tourists poking at me with their umbrellas, I heard him speak to me. He said, "Don’t worry about a thing man, you’ll be somebody’s Elvis one day."

GracelandI opened my eyes, wet from rain mixed with tears of joy, and thanked him. Boarding the train after three hours in the Safari Room (in which I practiced my dance moves with all the inspiration the room and my flask filled with vodka could provide), I felt a rush of confidence in the notion that some young lady would one day scream for me with equal resonance as a nation of women cry out for The King.

That visit to Graceland was four years ago, and I am beginning to lose faith that such a woman exists. Several trips to state fairs in Texas, Iowa, and Illinois, each with a different girl on my arm, only resulted in her running off with the Elvis impersonator. (Yes, the same one.) The third time it happened, the guy (who didn’t look, sound, or dance half as well as El) looked back and said, "Thanks pal, see you in South Dakota next week." He didn’t even say, "Thank you, thank you very much."

I became a regular in karaoke bars in my small town, but only built a reputation as the man who cries during Elvis songs. I tried to break away from any scene that might cater to women who would adore my life time nemesis, but antique boutiques, shopping malls, sporting events, concerts, skating rinks, tropical resorts, discos, athletic clubs, city parks, political events…no matter where I turn I am met with a new and exciting woman who says the same thing within the first hour of conversation, "Oh, I love Elvis. He is super sexy."

And so, I’m starting to accept the idea that women can love Elvis and me at the same time. I’m starting to accept the notion that a symbiotic threesome including a man, a woman, and a dead pop-singing film-dancing superstar can work. I’m learning that I don’t have to be like Elvis to be attractive, and that I probably should not try to copy him because such efforts only lead to immediate humiliation, no matter how much I practice. I’m beginning to believe that a woman might actually appreciate a man who can accept this shared relationship with an icon who has been dead for decades. Most important, I’m starting to accept the fact that I too, am in love with Elvis.

Behind in your reading?
Check out past ATOMIC features.

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