“The Elvis Trance”–flash fiction, Difficult People

The Elvis Trance

 

 

          I guess it was when Tanya moved to Memphis I knew she was serious about The King. Eating Memphis ribs and riding around in a ‘55 restored Oldsmobile, windows down, Philco radio blaring on the hot summer streets, crickets crushed under the big fat whitewall tires, wind muggy from off The River. Yeah, she had an embroidered prayer cushion designed in the likeness of Elvis’ boyhood home down in Tupelo (“outta be a Federal shrine…” she’d say over the phone), me still clinging to life up in Portland, Maine. She gasped and held her breath and I’d just wait, those precious quiet-as-a-pin seconds, our life just slipping away and she’d tell me how she’d go over every day and kneel down before the gate and say her morning prayers to the King. There was another prayer session at noon and at dusk, “vespers” she said, hissing like a pit of snakes.

          I’ve lost Tanya for sure…

          I’d be thinking about Tanya’s pole-climbing showgirl body and praying for myself she’d snap out of the Elvis trance and come back to New England. But no, she’d rented a tiny apartment across from Graceland, she’d coated its inner walls with his images, (I haven’t seen this directly…second hand reporting from her boyfriend…more to come…) and she had the back bedroom padlocked with a sign that read—the Chapel of Joy. There she claims the King came to her in a vision and “mated with me to bring a new generation of peace and love messengers to this old sorrowful world…”

          I tried hard to swallow my sad, sick laughter on that one ‘cause her chubby Memphis boyfriend’s an “old” Elvis impersonator and he confessed (over his crackling cell phone, every bit like the King from far away) that it was he himself that possessed her in a sure-fire vision of flaming carnal joy in that Chapel of Joy.

          Let me tell you, friends, I’m getting too old for this shit. I’ve lost Tanya for sure…and good luck to the King…the old fat one…he’ll need it…whoever he is.

 

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