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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ELVIS SAVED MY LIFE! --- A JOURNAL ENTRY FROM MARCH 2nd 1991



I always “remember” it as if I left Texas the very day after I graduated college. But, this evening when I picked up one of my many journals I am reminded that I didn’t leave until the last week of Feb, 1991. I now remember. I was debating in my own head if I wanted to go to Manhattan or Boston. I opted for Boston out of fear that my small town Texas background would be no match for THE CITY. Anyway, I had thought of this experience over the holidays and thought it was funny that I came to it when I opened my journal. By their very natures, Blogs are self-indulgent so I shall share this with you if you’re interested. By the way, I can still remember the gross smell of the motel. Like stale beer, cigs and sperm. It was a classy little joint. Wish I could remember the name! Here I am at 24 years of age, freshly graduated (yes, it took me 5 years – had to work full time the whole of the time excepting the last semester) and on my way to a life!

“It is 2am. Just pulled in to this creepy motel and got a room. I’ve got the car parked right outside the door to the room so I can hear if anyone tries to break in to steal my stereo. I’ve got all the towels covering the bed. I think this place rents by the hour. I got the room for $20.00!?!?! Didn’t know that was possible, but I told the guy that I needed to be out by 6am. He told me he would give me a price break because I was cute. Hmmm… Am I cute? I didn’t know that there were gay people outside of Memphis. I’ve got the chain lock on along with the flimsy door lock. All I need is for that old man to bust in with a gun and rape me! Ugh!

Elvis saved my life tonight. I really wish I could afford to stop and see Graceland. I was thinking of that when I got lost – AGAIN! I decided I should go ahead and get off the expressway and try to figure out the map. Ugh! But the wild thing was as I was exiting on to the feeder road it started raining --- I turned on the windshield wipers and the wipers were totally useless. I could tell I wasn’t going to be able to see. I turned the stupid rental car on to the first side street I came to and the rain turned into a total downpour! I stopped the car. I looked to my left and there was this little car store!!! It was 9:45pm and they were still open! I looked to my right and realized that I was parked directly on the side of Graceland!!!! I could see a bright pink Caddy on display behind an equally garish fence!!! Elvis reached out and saved me!!!

I got new wipers and talked the guy at the counter into helping me get the old ones off and the new ones on.

I knew I couldn’t stay. Graceland didn’t open till late in the morning today. So, I got back on the road. I finally had to pull over. Just too tired and this part of Tennessee kind of creeps me out --- so I felt it made sense to go ahead and spend the money on a motel room tonight instead of sleeping in one of those scary parks. I am going to try to get to Boston without any stops or naps today. Guess I should get some sleep.

Wonder what adventures await me??!?! Where will I be in a year? Dead? Alive and in love? Alone and hungry? I am so hungry right now, but the motel room seemed nicer than food. I will have McDonald’s in the morning. That should hold me over till evening tomorrow.

New England, here I come! Maybe I should just keep driving to Manhattan. No, that is a little too scary. Man, this is the furthest I’ve ever been from Texas. Well, I guess that isn’t true. Have to count New Orleans. Whatever. I would never tell my crazy parents, Jen or Roy but I am so scared right now. I feel sick to my stomach. What is going to happen to me?

I can do this! I am doing the right thing to get the hell away from Texas and Dad. One of us was destined to kill the other. And, I want to live somewhere where I can be gay and not worry about becoming the new strange fruit. And, who would sing about it now anyway? Madonna? Justify my lynching, please. But, I do love that song. Have been playing it a lot on the CD player. Really glad I insisted on the rental with the CD player.
Ok. Sleep. Much adventure waits for me!

And, Elvis, please be with me! Don’t let some Deliverance-like redneck bust the door in and make me squeal! …unless he looks like Burt Reynolds circa whatever year that movie came out!”

Wow. I do enjoy looking back in my journals from time to time. The above was written almost 15 years ago to the day! Just a little over a month off!

…Have I come a long way or in a circle? LOL! Oh well, thank goodness for Elvis!

This Evening's iPod Shuffle:
"Doki Doki Last Night" by Aoki Takamasa & Tujiko Noriko
"Coyote" by Joni Mitchell
"Do You Take This Man" by Diamanda Galas w/John Paul Jones
"Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday
"Sex Shooter -- Extended Mix" by Appalonia 6
"Scar Tissue" by Red Hot Chili Pepers
"If We're In Love" by Roisin Murphy

8 Comments:

Blogger ginab said...

Funny the things people have in common. Not Elvis with me, but Boston. I was younger, pre-college, but still; inspired to head there from where I'd been from the movie If You Could See What I Hear. Watching the movie I kept thinking if only the blind guy could see what I could see: ariel views of New England. Crazy.

I really like the voice, the perspective, of you at age 24. I'd hate to find mine around here (I have diaries; come on house fire), but yours for even myself will do given that Boston hook. Boston wasn't too big, it seemed, and it still isn't. Explains the cost of living. Anyway, oh..."feeders" I've only ever heard used in Texas.

Oh and other things in common: I worked full time too through college. And, I didn't expect to find myself where I am at age 39, just as alone...just as, let's blame Boston and the blind guy for me not listening.


g+bb

PS: um, have you temped? Seems with numbers, finances, management, you'd have a position in the bag. I have heard SF is tough right now. Everyone is looking. Anyway, temp is something...a pay check, a good morning and then a day long commit to the daily grind. It's an idea. Also, think about who you know. That's where I come up stumped, but still...you should think about who you know as those connections can help you.

1:06 AM  
Blogger matty said...

ginab -- Yes! Let us blame the blind guy and Boston! I like that! Oh, I so hated Texas! ...nothing personal, really. Just couldn't wait to get out of the south. LOL! I can't part with my journals. I just enjoy flipping into a year and see what I was thinking/doing. Half the time I feel like it is a sort of therapy.

Yes! I've thought of temping! And, have a couple of calls pending return! Last round of unemployment I had trouble getting the gigs because they seemed to feel I was over-qualified except for accounting jobs which only 2 came up the whole time and I couldn't reach the locations without a car. But, things are better here now so -- fingers crossed.

I'm so new to the area --- I don't have too many folks to which to network but am working on it.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

Thanks for sharing something so personal. I often wish i was from some place further away from the city- some place that I had to 'escape' if you will. The reality is, I grew up less than 40 miles where I live now. Not much of an adventure....

good luck on the new adventure, and every step along the way

11:00 AM  
Blogger ing said...

I like that old entry, too. For a 24-year-old you were very sincere in your writing. You're still sincere, but I can tell that the man who's presently writing is much more mature, though you've retained everything that's fresh about the original voice.

And Matty, do you know what a writer is? Someone who writes regularly. (Hint!)

I'll ask around about jobs, bookstore and otherwise. The neat thing about temp-ing, though, is that it can lead to something neater. Non-profits use temps, yes?

11:38 PM  
Blogger matty said...

Jon -- every day in Manhattan is an adventure!!! Besides, you are glamour! You rock!

Ing -- thank you! Good points! I have an appointment with a temp agency that does handle some non-profits in the city for next week! Fingers crossed!

12:15 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Matty! At exactly the same moment you were writing that in your hotel room, I was crying my eyes out in my crappy bedroom in Beaumont. I cried for one whole week after you left!! I never told you that. I also never told you that I lit a Virgin Mary candle for you the night you left and kept it going until the wick was gone (fallen Catholic habits die hard). Love you!

6:22 PM  
Blogger matty said...

Jenny! Oh, not that I would ever want you to be sad or upset, but that really touched me. I would have never known. I still have the first few letters you sent me when I got to Boston! Maybe that candle was my saving grace because we both knew not what I was doing!!!!!

12:17 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Wow Matt, that's really something. What you did must have taken incredible nerve, I'm not surprised you were scared. I don't know if I'd have had the strength to do what you did there. Respect!!

5:11 PM  

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