Elvis And I

August 27, 2009 § 37 Comments

Elvis The Second

Elvis

Elvis-Presely-The-Second

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis-NJ-Transit

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Elvis

Stanely——

Stanely is a wedding singer. He also performs Karaoke. Stanley is a fan.

Stanley is Elvis the Second. And rightfully so, declares his business card.

Dressed in gold, shuffling in the summer heat, he poses for me, despite my suggestions not to. His suit is temporary, but his hair and the signature glasses are not.

We walk through a train station, exchanging hellos and sideways glances with the crowd. Quizzical looks fly our way.

Don’t you step over my suede blue shoes...

When we finally walk inside a pub, someone screams, “Elvis is in the building!”

“I was a sorry sight after I returned from Vietnam! I had a drinking problem, and you will not believe this, but it was so bad that my would-be wife’s parents would use me as an example for the kind of guy that she should never want to hang out with! Ha ha!

Well, now, I don’t drink at all, not a drop!”

While I drink, and click pictures, Stanley sips on a tall glass of water. I try to catch him off guard, but he recovers too quickly, immediately alert to the camera, perhaps, even squints in anticipation, behind the dark glasses.

A little less conversation, A little more action please…

We walk out, and  past another pub. Someone screams from inside, “Elvis has left the building!”

And all this time, Stanley nods, smiles and strikes a pose for the perpetrators.

Treat me like a fool, Treat me mean and cruel, But love me…

We walk aimlessly, into a Starbucks.

Stanley booms over the regurgitating mixer behind the counter, “Hey amigo, how are you doing?”

And amigo shoots back, “Hey Elvis! What upppp? I am doing good!”

I click them (Stanley asks me to).

“What’s your friend’s name?” I ask Stanley.

“Amigo,” is the reply.

If this was a joke, I was no longer amused. I felt utterly exhausted trying to capture Stanley, not Elvis. And was getting increasingly annoyed by the shrilly group of teenage girls gravitating towards us.

Then, amidst the distractions, Stanley reveals:

“I don’t call people by their name!

(incredulous look)

I call this one Amigo, I call the other one ….

(laughter)

Maybe because…I myself don’t have a name. You know what? Elvis is still alive. Stanley…? He was dead a long long time ago.”

(click)

– The Juicer at work

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§ 37 Responses to Elvis And I

  • I love the second shot: gold on green. Green gold indeed!

    The post reminds me of this documentary I watched ‘Confessions of a Superhero’. Maybe you could do a series on these tribute singers and such like? :D

    • The Juicer says:

      Gold green sums up that pic.
      And an interesting idea Joy! I will sleep on that:)
      The reason it took me so long to post this post (ha!), was that I wasn’t feeling inspired enough. I was planning to do a second meeting and interview him at leisure, but somehow the timing didn’t work out. Then I decided to put him up here at face value. And let the readers read between the lines :)

  • Satyam says:

    You actually did a great job at capturing Stanley…thumbs up!

  • Meigha says:

    You actually did a great job at capturing Stanley…thumbs up! hugs and all..

    (it was posted by me!!!!!!!!! not satyam)

  • Well-written and beautifully shot. I love the first pic and the big one on the train…sweet. Thanks Juicer.

  • Simone says:

    The third and thirteenth photography are my favorite, there’s the regret and melancholy in this extravagant character… Very good photo…!!!

  • Vicki says:

    OMG I absolutely love this! Only you could find a cheezy recovering alcoholic Elvis that goes to Starbuck’s and calls people “Amigo”! That’s just Awesome Shipra!
    I wish I had been there with you!

    Thanks hun…you’re incredible!!! Love you doll !XO!

    • The Juicer says:

      Haha…you know what I am talking about. This post could be seen as humorous, or even melancholy.
      Different people, different strokes. It was quite an interesting evening. The fact that Elvis permeates his life so thoroughly was so intriguing. And a lot of that, is still a mystery to me:)

      • Vicki says:

        FJ is right …not only are the photos well done but your writing talent is exceptional!
        My fav is Elvis standing on the train , alone! How you got that shot is beyond me…
        No “Mojo” lost here girly….you still have babe!

        • The Juicer says:

          Thanks- I know I can count on you to keep the positive juices flowing! :)
          Fact is certainly stranger than fiction. And by extension, much more intriguing. I think that’s the flavor this story lends itself to.

  • Tom Hardin says:

    Way to go Juicer. I bet it was hard following such an icon. You did great this week. Can’t wait for next.

  • pcadams says:

    What a great story, Shipra! Thank you for sharing.

    Peace, Phil

  • Som says:

    Rock & Roll ………thanks for posting Elvis second…:)

  • Satyam says:

    Kinda reminded me of K-Pax. Very beautifully captured.
    Somehow, the short text you wrote lasts like an hour long story in the head. Again, at a loss to explain what I really mean to say.
    Amazing …

    • The Juicer says:

      I haven’t heard that one before- and in a good way! I am really glad it feels like a complete story. Since I was keeping it factual, I really could not add anything to round off the edges..if you know what I mean.
      A reminder that I need to watch K-Pax! Nope, haven’t seen it yet:( The allusion to Kevin Spacey’s character is not lost on me though!

  • seanfraser says:

    That story is great, the second photograph somehow reminds me of the Nighthawks painting by Edward Hopper that portrays people sitting in a downtown diner late at night.

    PS The real Elvis is working in a Pizza shop in Sydney …I saw him the other day.
    http://www.elvispizza.com.au/gallery.html

  • Wow. A really wonderful piece of journalism & photo journalism. Stanley looks like he could probably also do a spot on Johnny Cash.

  • terryodee says:

    Hi Shipra
    been out of circulation for a while and wanted to catch up with the juicer at work.. and wow, couldn’t get past this post.
    This is impressive on several levels, your ability, observation and persistence are exemplary.
    I can totally understand your frustration in trying to reach through to the real Stanley, in many ways you did, the real Stanley, as you said, died a long long time ago and became the lame clad figure you tried reach behind. The word of caution I would voice is, when you find these characters Shipra, please be sure YOU are ready to meet the real person behind the shimmering disguise, in my experience from my PJ days, there is usually so much pain and anguish in there it can almost overwhelm you when it is released so do, do make sure you are ready for it and you have someone to turn to if and when you reach them.
    My honest opinion is, you have a gift, not a talent, a gift.
    terry

    • The Juicer says:

      Terry- what a pleasure to have you back!! You’ve been busy! :)
      You are right about the melancholy, it’s odd how a few other readers caught a whiff of that too. It was not made obvious, but I sensed it. Or maybe it was my own little interpretation?
      I was drawn to Stanley for a number of reasons, starting from frivolous curiosity, to deeper intrigue, and then, an obsession with finding out what lies beneath. I was careful; not out of my own accord, but because I sensed his guard, and I was prepared to wait until when it was down and spontaneously so. That moment of truth, that conversation, is still due I believe. And when it happens, I will remember what you said. You touched the story’s heart. Thank you for doing that.

  • esan says:

    That makes me wanna come to NY! Great job Juicer!

    E.

  • —this reminds me of the film “2000 miles to Graceland”—wow!

  • Renée says:

    hahahhahahha love it! My little Mister should be this for Halloween! with the wig and all… hmm something to ponder on ..
    great pics!!!

  • All great shots in my opinion. I’d love to get the chance to talk to him. I envy your location and closeness to the action/insanity everyday. Well done!!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Scott! I hope I get to chat with him again too!
      However, I would not have expected much envy from you, given all the action going on around where you live! Can’t wait to read more stories from those gypsy neighbors on your blog:)

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