In San Francisco, a few people like to decorate humble cars. There is the the Mondrian moblie, and '83 Nissan Sentra repainted and rescultped into one of Piet Mondrian's cubist fantasies. There is the Bramobile a Ford Windstar whose owner thought her steed deserved a bra made out of bras. And lipstick cases, compacts, and other accouterments of fashion that women deal with but men need not

In Columbus, we have the Elvis Lady. She lives close by, and you could see her from a mile off. She drove an '87 Chevy Cadaver in blue and rhinestones. Every square inch of her Cavalier had been decorated in a manner befitting the King. Elvis's name had been written out in rhinestone scrip on her doors,. White cotton candy covered the back deck and dashboard, and upon the dash, front and center stood a bobblehead of Elvis himself, ready for Las Vegas. Elvis license plate holders front and rear. Sometimes I would follow, for I had heard she had pressed Elvis's picture into her hubcaps.

One day I noticed she had disappeared. I had gone months without catching sight of her spangled little Cavalier. it was as if we drove different roads now Had she moved? Or had the Kingmobile met it's final end crushed beneath an SUV?

I didn't know. No one did. Until today.

She's back, in a Buick. The rhinestones ae gone, as is the bobblehead, but she's back. I know. I could never forget that face, that hairdoo. Her car is white now, but the King's Name has been painted on the doors, in the appropriate script. But there's more. On the back she has written, Elvis LIves on, Mike Albert.

I shuddered. Mike Albert is Columbus's most important Elvis impersonator. Instead of honoring the King's memory, she now shills for one of his imitators. Has she fallen so low, or is this an important step forward?

We all seek ways of giving our lives meaning. For some it our work, for others, children, others a hobby. Some seek to escape into other worlds to find meaning. Others subsume themselves into the greater glory of an athletic team, or a charismatic shaman. The Elvis lady had Elvis. Now she has Mike Albert.

Elvis has left the building. Perhaps his Blue Suede Shoes have sat empty for so long that she needs them filled, if only by a surrogate.