The Elvis dreams (Jan. 2010)


Elvis would come to her in her dreams. Sometimes she’d just see him standing across the street, his blue-black hair shimmering under the neon liquor store sign. An eyebrow would lift toward her, his lip would rise into that exquisite sneer and he’d extend his hand toward her. She’d never be dressed appropriately for that moment. No hourglass, Balenciaga-style Fifties dress would she wear or hair curled into shiny waves that fell slyly across her eyes. Nope. In her dreams, she wore real-world wear: a T-shirt that her grandson Aaron spit up on and hair that was pressed into a fauxhawk from falling asleep in the chair again during reruns of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
     Elvis didn’t care. She could have been Ann Margaret in leopardskin the way he leered at her so.
     She’d look both ways, run across the street toward the liquor store and he’d grab her into his arms, kissing her neck as he hummed “Love Me Tender” or “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”
     “Hey you kids, get the hell away from here,” the liquor store owner would yell at them, gesturing angrily with the angled broom in his hands. “Get a room, will ya?”
     “Let’s get lost, babe,” Elvis would say as he squeezed her hand and they ran down the street. Sometimes they’d sit by that fountain which hadn’t had water in it since the Jimmy Carter administration. (Her town never recovered from that Seventies recession.) It didn’t matter. Elvis would take a coin from his pocket, ask her to make a wish, then he’d toss it over his shoulder. They’d wait to hear copper clink against cement and then he’d smile at her. “So, darlin’, what did you wish for?” He’d look at her with those sapphire blue eyes and she’d stutter out a reply.
     “That … this … dream … was t-t-t-t-true….”
     Bee-eeep! Bee-eeep! Bee-eeep! The oven timer would wake her. She’d roll upright in the chair, wipe the drool from the corner of her mouth, and head into the kitchen to take out the mozzarella sticks.

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