Last night I uploaded the following blog post titled, Twitch. Early this morning I had an email notification of a comment that needed moderating. It was some advice from my friend, Graeme about which Elvis movie I should watch first. I approved the comment and a little while later, I had notification of another comment. When I logged in to moderate that one, the blog post was gone. GONE! It wasn’t in my published, drafts, or trash folder. Kablooie! I suspect my mother had a hand in this because she doesn’t appreciate when I write about her ghost.
I put out a call for help and my lovely friend Jan just happened to have a copy of this post in her email! Can you believe it? When you subscribe, WordPress (who as of this writing still hasn’t replied to my frantic note to customer support) drops a copy of my blog right into your email account! It’s a great time to be alive, folks (sorry, mama)! The lesson in all of this, of course, is that one should always subscribe to their own blog. And save a local copy. And just maybe not to stop caffeine, cold turkey.
If this unrelenting twitch above my left eye is any indication I’m presently being haunted by my mother’s ghost. As much as I could really do without that in my life right now it’s still preferable to the more plausible possibility that I need to lay off the coffee again. For days I’ve been walking around with my left index finger trying to pin my eyelid to my skull to hold it still and apologizing to friends and strangers whom I’m afraid will think I’m winking. This weekend I switched back to decaf, but just to be on the safe side I’ve started quietly inquiring about exorcists who may be practicing in my local area. So far I’ve turned up nothing but concerned looks and one panhandler who claims he can not only see my mother’s ghost, but will banish her in exchange for a bottle of peppermint schnapps. ‘Tis the season.
But forget me. Do you know who had a great twitch? Elvis. And this time next month I will be haunting Graceland myself, attending his 81st birthday party. In order to gain access to this soiree I’ve had to join a cult called the Graceland Insider’s Club. There is no test of Elvis knowledge (thank goodness!), or bloodletting required for entry, just a $21.99 membership fee, which includes many monetary benefits; if I visit Graceland eight more times in 2016 that membership will have paid for itself with the money I’ve saved on parking alone.
I can see how someone might mistake me for an Elvis fan. I was married by an Elvis. The first lie I ever told was about Elvis. I’ve got Elvis ornaments hanging from my Christmas tree and I also happen to think he’s incredibly handsome when his lip isn’t doing that thing that my dog’s sometimes does when he’s irritated, but not enough to growl. But the truth is, I know almost nothing about the guy. I’ve never seen one of his movies. And while I recognize his voice when I hear it, I can only name a handful of songs he sang. I do know there is a difference between an Elvis impersonator and an Elvis tribute artist because I accidentally insulted the first guy I called to inquire about officiating our wedding. It turns out he wasn’t ordained anyway.
This trip is just the tiny, first step of an assignment I’m sending myself on in 2016 to try and figure out what makes some people capable of being so wholly devoted to one person / object / idea; and conversely what makes me so incapable of such passionate devotion. There’s a lot to be nervous about here but the one fear I’ve not been able to calm is this trepidation about trying to pass myself off as an insider. I can see me being left standing just outside the inner circle in my new blue suede boots, just my spectral mama and me, winking at all the Elvis-y people. That by itself isn’t so terrible. I’ve met a lot of very nice people by winking at them. But what if I go through the rest of my life never understanding what it is I’m missing? And what if that’s actually why I’m twitching?