I met the King, or at least his primary place of residence, or as MTV would have it, his CRIB, in 2007 just days before I left my lover, my Oregon home, and my silly cashier job to teach overseas in Asia.
The trip was the last with my now ex, who I was crazy about and who had already decided he wanted "space" and had been distancing himself for some time. In the midst of this distancing, we somehow planned out a trip to visit his family and old university in Illinois, and then roadtrip to Tennessee to see my family, including my Peepaw (aka grandfather) who was getting dementia and thought the whole time I was married to the guy. We couldn't persuade him otherwise, and in a way I was glad because I had a feeling it would be sometime if ever before a marriage would actually occur.
So we flew to Illinois, and drove around St. Louis, and then over to Memphis where we proceeded to fight, as usual, in the motel room and I almost thought we would have to cut the trip short and return to Oregon. But we didn't. We managed to not kill eachother and the next day I saw the King, or at least his twin's grave, and his old living room with the rainforest theme, and the hall of records and the menu of famous southern King favorites. I felt reluctance to share in my joy for this womanising, egocentric rock star in the company of a comparably egocentric boyfriend, however I could not resist my typical weakness for this confident, zealous personality. In the middle of all the excess and glory was a strong energy unabashed by the mediocrity of others, and even his own distorted habits. For truly there's nothing like a hound dog.
So we drove on. My ex, in the unlikely and all to heart-melting way of his, surprised me by sitting quietly for hours with my grandpa, the King of his southern household, listening to him yammer on about faith as if he was still a methodist preacher in front of a congregation. And then we left Tennessee, and my family, and I flew to Asia and we were apart, and peepaw died, and everything else happened as it always does.