It’s no secret I enjoy Elvis, to some people’s chagrin. No shame, no apologies. I get Elvis, but I’m not sure I get Elvis fans. Here’s a true story. There’s a nice little gift shop near where I live that sells a diverse variety of goodies, from jewelry and vintage clothes, to handmade soap to sports merchandise. There’s dozens of little booths that vendors rent or sublease, or whatever the term would be, and one of them (which I’ve often bought from) is devoted to Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. I’m not exactly sure why Elvis and Marilyn have posthumously been made a couple, but they always seem to go together. Perhaps because they were, in style and cultural impact, the most remembered icons of the 1950′s. Or because both led troubled, drug-addled lives and died young. I don’t think they knew each other or moved in the same circles in life, but who knows maybe they harbored a mutual respect towards one another. The point is, where there’s Elvis memorabilia, there’s Marilyn and vice-versa. So here I am, shopping for something emblazoned with the image of Marilyn Monroe, when I see my favorite booth being restocked, by middle-aged couple both in full icon regalia. He with jet black pompadour and massive muttonchops; she in tight sweater, platinum hair and much too much red lipstick. They were nice and seemingly normal in everything except appearance. He declared with all confidence that “nobody doesn’t like Elvis.” As somebody who threw herself a Lady Gaga dress-up birthday party, I have no place to judge people who still, after all those years and tawdry revelations, want nothing more that to look like The King. Not only do these people run a business devoted to selling Elvis and Marilyn branded crap, they also have to be Elvis and Marilyn. It doesn’t matter that these stars have been dead far longer than I’ve been alive. They still exert an inexorable pull that inspires worship and emulation, from beyond the grave. Truly, it’s as if the concept of material existence is immaterial. Elvis is alive. Inside of his fans, that is.