I CAN'T REMEMBER WHERE OR WHEN YOU HAPPENED TO ME - Part 3
After the shows that night, I hesitantly went upstairs as I had promised Elvis I would. I have gone completely blank as to what occurred early in the evening up in the penthouse. All I remember is that Elvis put his arm around me and led me again to his personal rooms, but he led me to sit next to him on the end of the bed. For some very strange reason I don't know why I wasn't concerned at all at that point... not yet, at least. We both sat mute for quite some time. Weird, now that I think about it... neither of us had anything to say for a while. Perhaps it was due to so many different overwhelming things that had occurred earlier that day up until that point??... I don't know.
Elvis finally broke the ice by just turning my face towards his, staring. He brushed my hair from my eyes, stroked my face with his hands, then said very quietly, "The first time I saw you,... met you,... I couldn't move. I just stood there like an idiot, and could hardly speak. I... I... I just knew I 'knew' you, and I still know I've been waiting for you all of my life! I don't understand it. I... I...Well! You know what I did? When I got into my dressing room I just thought, "Oh,boy! I'm in Trouble! I'm in Big Trouble now! Oh, God! Why didn't they send me a big ugly soprano!" As he said this, he slapped his forehead so hard that he actually fell backwards! We both broke out in the loudest laughter at the worst possible moment!
"You are so romantic!" I barely squeaked out as the laughter interrupted every word. I wishI could paint that image for you. It was hilarious. Somehow that word... "hilarious"... doesn't quite capture him in his attempt to tell me what he thought was a most important expression of how he felt at this moment... one he'd perhaps planned on sharing with me in a more serious manner.
As I laughed uncontrollably, he continued. "That's exactly what I did to myself that night! And, I slapped my "own self'' right down onto my bed in my dressing room!"
I was once again in love with the way he was able to laugh at himself.
"You are just so darn cute... so funny! I love the fact that you can laugh at yourself!" I barely got out.
He then said something I still don't understand fully. "You scare me, Kathy. I'm afraid of you. And believe me, this is... well... I'm not afraid of..."
"What?"!! I... I don't understand.
"I don't either... yet," he answered timidly.
I remember nothing except his eyes. Those most gorgeous powder-blue eyes staring into mine until I almost felt there was no separation. I Can't remember what suit he was wearing that night...Nothing but his eyes for what seemed to be a very long time. Then he put his hands up, and pulled mine up, and we did what seems now like the silliest thing. Just held our hands within inches of each other as we stared at each other, feeling each other from a distance.
"I've never been so 'Aware' of anyone before, Kathy. I don't know what "we" are about, what it means, but I know I love you, I know you understand me. And I know I understand you!" He then whispered as if he feared my answer by hanging his head slightly while looking away, "I want you to stay with me tonight." That broke the spell I was under and he knew it, so he quickly said, "I promise, promise,promise... nothing... Nothing... will happen until you're ready. I would never, never do anything to cause you to... I know this will take time. I know you don't know me well enough to really trust me yet... but please open yourself to trusting me?"
I knew at that moment I had to face my fears of this situation, face them and walk through them with courage I wasn't certain I could muster this time, as I practiced in life many times before when afraid.
"I want to trust you. I do love you in some way I just don't fully understand yet. I don't know what to call this kind of love. I can't find a name for it.", I revealed a part of myself I hadn't yet allowed to surface. I went on just pouring out thoughts and realizations I hadn't even consciously thought about yet."And until I know... really know... I can not even begin to allow you or myself, for that matter, to expect any more than just friendship."
"You have to know, that I can't even begin to imagine a serious relationship yet, though I'm 'past due' and have hopes of having one some day. I can't even make a relationship work at home right now. I never know when I'm on call at the studios from day to day where I'll be or what time I'll be home... I haven't been able to plan one day! Not One! If I don't go when one of my contractors is depending on me, there's someone else ready to jump in and take my place. It's a death sentence for any relationship... and... I've worked all my life to get where I am today,and am just ready to discover where my Voice will take me now. It owns me now," I laughed. I am following it now. I want to be clear about what I'm ready for, and want you to know that I don't know when I will be ready for a serious relationship... for 'who-knows-how-long'?"
I breathed a sigh of relief aftert explaining where I was in life.
Elvis then opened up more.
"Remember, I told you: You're just like me! You are like me in this way, too! Man, it's hard to find anyone who can ever understand this. Right now in each of our lives, our careers have to come first! Performers only have so much time, and... then it could all just disappear in a split second. If "it" all disappeared today for me, I'd be happy working at the stage door... just... to be... around it."
He said this deliberately, while just staring off into space now, and meaning every word. I felt the same way, and had never found anyone who could really understand that in me. What man would want a relationship for very long with a woman who never knew where she'd be, or when she'd be home? A few thought they could handle it, but soon realized they could not.
It was at that moment another fear crept in. "I know I shouldn't care, but I do... I care about what people think or will think, and I'd never be able to tell them what kind of relationship this is. I don't even know yet myself! I don't want anybody... ANYBODY... to know! That just seems impossible! Everybody's going to know... and they're going to think it's the kind of relationship that they're familiar with. You know?"
"Hardly anyone needs to know at this point." he said. "Boy, does that mean a lot to me,too.! This one issue has destroyed more relationships for me. It's rarely very long before "she" goes public somehow or other, and... well... it hurts me."
"I'm just really a private person. I can't change that. Even if you weren't married and weren't dating, I... I would not want anyone... not Anyone to know." I had to emphasize this because I knew myself well, and just was old-fashioned enough still... to not be able to even tell any friends much about my feelings for any man I'd cared about in the past.
"I guess I grew up in a Puritan atmosphere, and even though I want to be more open... I'm just caught in this "transition period"... it's generational I guess, and I'm not certain just which generation I really want to belong to because I belong to both and grew up in both."
"This is what I meant by telling you I'm not the guy you think I am either, Kathy! I'm supposed to be what?...wild and crazy? I went through a period in my life, and... yes, I want to be free... but a complete 'whatever- it-is' that people think I should be... I am not."
It was at this moment that it dawned on me... and yes, even shocked me... I was talking to the very man... the single most important person in our cultural history... the man who gave the world this new music that shook our planet and everyone's culture spanning this globe dangling in space... into the realization of a new consciousness. The man who gave the world something called 'Rock n Roll'. The music that not only revolutionized sound and music, but changed us all socially... set us all free to rid ourselves of racial prejudices and more, for when he had delivered this new form of music, this new vibration, it was the musical vibration needed to lift us out of darkness, and the vibration that was reflected in human beings' spirits, including the desire for sexual freedom. No one... and I mean it... no one... who did Not live during this period... the time that Elvis' first record hit the airwaves... could ever, ever comprehend what happened on this planet. Nor could they fathom how quickly this happened. I could compare it I guess, to perhaps what my grandparents witnessed; they went from Horses and buggies to automobiles, to trains then on to airplanes, from radio to television. That kind of comparison is the closest I can come, yet it's still not as powerful a shock as the music was. I know kids today who still can't imagine life without a cell phone, computers, or video games. I experienced those changes. At the time I was having this conversation with Elvis... there still did not even exist something called VHS! No video tape yet. Beta was just arriving, and around 1977 8-track tapes appeared to a few of us. Kodak 8 mil. film existed for home movies.
But back to Elvis and myself here; We were both caught in this transition. We had each been raised in Puritan homes where everyone got dressed before going out of one's room, or at least in the privacy of one's home had a gown or pajamas with a bathrobe on. Even that was only acceptable for brief moments in our households. That's just the way we were raised.
"Do you think you can stay?" he asked. "I've got all my books ready, so we can read if you want."
"Just how will this work... I mean... sleeping." I asked. "Should we call housekeeping to bring up a clothesline and sheets to hang in-between us?" I joked. And yes, we laughed at ourselves then. "Twenty more pillows for this rather large bed?" I added in between gasping for breaths.
"And I don't have anything with me... to sleep in... or to wear tomorrow!... er... this afternoon, I mean."
(To Be Continued)