Around Elvis' birthday, I get a little reminiscent of my youth. I know Elvis passed away before I was born (or did he?!) but when I was 12, I found and immersed myself in his music and his movies.
When I was 12, my father was committed to a mental hospital after taking tons of heroin and driving his car through the emergency room doors. At least this is how I remember my father telling me this story. He lied a lot so it could be true, or it could be that he was in rehab. What I do know is true is that my father was into drugs and he was in a facility that I did visit him at twice. This is the last time I saw him in person. He looked weird. He had a beard and was wearing a blue jumpsuit that resembled scrubs. He had glasses on and I remember his hair being long. A big change from the last time I saw him when he was clean shaven, hair cut, and didn't have glasses. Of course things happen when you don't see someone for four years. I don't remember anything about the visits except the way he looked and the feeling of dread. The one thing my father was good at was letting me down, I knew it was coming, and he didn't "disappoint."
So the way I coped with how I was feeling was two things, food and music. This is where Elvis came in. I really don't know where I found him or where I heard him, I just remember that I was hooked. A co-worker of my mom's ex boyfriend had made me a mix tape and recorded some movies for me. I listened to that tape more times than I could count in my sony walkman. Over and over again until I felt better. If that didn't work I would watch Girl Happy again and again.
So when January 8th rolls around or when August 16th rolls around, I don't think necessarily of my father and the bad feelings, I think of Elvis and how he made a 12 year old's heart heal, one song at a time.