September 29th 1996
When myself and Harry were Freshers and lived in halls at Llys Talybont there was an infamous resident called Elvis. Yes, his real name. During the daytime, when not attending his Law School lectures, Elvis could be found skating around the campus on his roller boots, wearing teeny tiny denim shorts with his long hair flowing in the wind. To complete his Miami look he accessorized with a home made wooden trolley decorated with CND stickers that he pulled behind him. The wheeled alternative to a manbag.
Elvis used to live directly opposite our flat so we could see right into his bedroom window, especially at dusk. Elvis was not shy and loved having an unofficial audience. He would often entertain us with his Thai Boxing training (in tiny pants) or with his disco moves to Chaka Khan (again in tiny pants but of the disco variety).
As the years passed and we became veterans of university life many characters came and went. Some people dropped out, some never went out and some probably intentionally avoided us. Elvis was always on the scene, swanning about in some shape or form. He reinvented himself as often as Madonna and was last seen in a Mod suit complete with Lambretta.
Not one of us girls was ever sure how to feel about Elvis. He was an enigma. Above all else the man was a complete egotistical buffoon courting attention in every way and from anyone possible. Yet, he was inoffensive and hilarious in his showing off tactics. We admired his audacity and in a sea of Liam Gallagher wannabes or during the Saturday night mundanity of The Check Shirt Brigade it was refreshing to see a man with his own, if sometimes questionable, style. The other attraction was that he was really, really physically fit so could easily be forgiven for the lack of top or the disco knickers.
The other big unknown was his sexuality. Until now……
We had to go out last night for numerous reasons. Firstly, we had all completed our first month in grown up land, secondly, Ruth was here for the night and we hadn’t caught up for weeks, thirdly, it was Fresher’s Week and the first Cloud Nine of the academic year. Not that we are any longer academics but who cares? Someone needs to take the responsibility of teaching these kids how to party.
So, we followed tradition and all got ready separately listening to our favourite tunes, I favoured a bit of Blur. Then, we congregated in our living room in time for Blind Date and ready for some pre – drinks. All short skirts, platform boots and Jean Paul Gaultier perfume (apart from Alan who favoured a Smiths T-shirt).
We didn’t leave the house until 10.30 ish, a raucous rabble of vodka fuelled revellers teetering on the brink of carnage in 6 inch platforms. We pushed and shoved our way to the front of the Terminal queue moaning at the “Bloody Freshers”even though they had more right to be there than we did.
Anyway, once unsteadily but safely inside, at the bar we had to endure another wait whilst the inexperienced spent their loans on Baileys and Vodka and Pineapple. It was then that I felt hands around my waist. I turned around aggressively expecting a cheeky fresher but, instead, there stood Elvis resplendent in a glittery T-shirt and a leopard print scarf channelling Richey Manics Rock chic.
What can I say? Elvis has now left the building and left me with a huge smile.
I am bracing myself for the hangover interrogation downstairs, another Sunday another morning after the night before. Hooray for Elvis.