Home > Introduction > My butch icon.

My butch icon.

This weekend, I went to my friend’s wedding in Nashville.  I took Friday off so that I could drive to Graceland, and see Elvis’ home.  I’m not an Elvis fan who thinks that Elvis is still alive on an island, or even an Elvis fan who thinks that he was the second coming.  I’m just an Elvis fan.  I fell in love with Elvis’ voice when I was about 14 years old, and I haven’t stopped listening.  My old e-mail address was a play off an old Elvis quote:

“Man, I was tame compared to what they do now.  I didn’t do nothing but just jiggle.”

In high school, everyone knew that if you wanted to get me something I’d love, all I needed was an Elvis something.  I have an Elvis tie! It’s at my parent’s home though.  I just remembered that I had it, just now.  But I have a small, but lovely collection of Elvis paraphernalia.  Elvis inspired me to play guitar.  Late at night, I’d sing and dance to Elvis and try to imitate his movements, never very well.

I wanted his haircut, his snarl, his curled lip, his effortless cool, and I never really phrased it this way, but Elvis was my role model for manhood.  Now, you wouldn’t be able to tell so much.  I don’t really channel “family-friendly bad boy” anymore, just prepster.  But I studied his movements, his press conferences, his concerts.  Anything I could lay my hands on.  I think my friends and parents just thought Elvis was The One Guy this dyke would fall for.  Not so…I never have been (that) attracted to Elvis.

Going to Graceland was incredibly emotional for me.  First of all, this was my first time travelling alone, really alone.  I’ve made short trips before, but generally the only time I spent alone was on the plane. I’d meet friends right when I got off.  No, this was my first, good old-fashioned road trip.  It was wonderful: me, Tennessee, and country music.  I got so much thinking done.  Then, when I arrived, my excitement was palpable to everyone around me.  It seemed like everyone at Graceland last Friday was weighed down by the heat, by their long road trips, by their families.  Not me!  I was exuberant!

I had heard about Graceland before, that it was gaudy and over-the-top.  It didn’t seem that way to me.  It just seemed…Elvis-y.  Very 70s.  I’m sure if he had lived longer, he would have updated it.  At the very least, I’m sure he would have taken the shag carpet off the ceiling in the jungle room.  But to walk around his house was very powerful for me.  Even in his death, Elvis has presence.  When I got to the grave, I actually started crying.

I’m not sure what prompted the tears, other than the fact that I felt like I had reached the endpoint of my pilgrimage.  Pilgrimage, I guess that’s the way it felt to me.  Even though Elvis isn’t the second coming of Christ, he saw me through most of my adolescence, and I had come to pay tribute.

Categories: Introduction
  1. June 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I’m so glad you got to go! And I think you’ve inspired me to take my own solo roadtrip this summer. Thanks :)

  2. Diane
    June 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I wasn’t necessarily a big Elvis fan, but I had an opportunity to go to Graceland while on a business trip to Memphis a few years ago. I ended up being a bigger fan when I left than when I arrived at the gates, and I was also moved to tears when I ended up at the grave, and that of his twin.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: