Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I been at the Home for, what, eight years now? And all the years I’ve been there, I never seen a guy like this Elvis fellow.

The Home? That’s what we call it, anyway. It’s the Memphis Jewish Home. Just north of Germantown. All things considered, not a bad place to live. And the kids come by every week for a visit or to take me out. The daughter-in-law likes to go to the Oak Court Mall on the weekends, and so they schlep me along.

Heh. When they show up at the reception desk, I always wish them a “Good Shoppis.” It’s our little joke.

But I was telling you about this Elvis guy.

Such a flashy dresser, you never saw. One day he’ll come down to breakfast in leather pants. How he squeezes his tuchus into them, I’ll never know. Maybe the next day it’ll be a white suit with rhinestones. He looks eppis like that Liberace fellow. You know, that feigeleh that played the piano? Yeah, him.

But this guy is no feigeleh. A real ladies’ man. Has to beat them off with a stick. One time we were having lunch and Mrs. Schwartz walks by our table, all casual-like, and she slips him a pair of her gotkiss with her room key tucked in ’em. Elvis, he rolls his eyes and shrugs his shoulders, as if to say, “What the hell can I do about it?”

Anyway, I asked him once did he always live in Memphis and he said he was born here... used to be a singer. Had himself quite a career for a while. But like a lot of musicians back then, he started getting into the drugs. Almost died, so he tells me, back in 1977. That’s when he decided to give it up. Quit the drugs cold turkey, and reconnected to his Jewish roots. Started studying Talmud. Never quite made it as a rabbi, though, because (he says) he was afraid that if he started standing up in front of large crowds again, the old problems would maybe come back.

Funny thing. Not once have I ever seen him eat a banana. Asked him about it once and he got real quiet, said something about he used to eat ’em all the time, even with peanut butter in a sandwich, but that they made him constipated and that he had to give them up. I don’t know whether I got the whole story, but I kinda got the feeling that the last thing he ever wanted was to be constipated. You never saw anyone drink so much prune juice in your life.

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