There goes the neighborhood

The Lutheran church across the street from my apartment building set up a little performance area tonight, with a backdrop cloth that said “Elvis Lives”. When the sun went down, fifteen cars showed up, then people got out of their cars with folding chairs and arranged them about fifty feet across the parking lot from the Elvis Lives platform. Someone turned multi-colored lights on the backdrop, and then Elvis came out and sang Elvis karaoke. Everyone sat in their chairs. No one clapped or got up and danced, except for one heavy-set woman who kept venturing out, shaking her booty, clapping, who would occasionally turn around to the other audience members and try to encourage them to come closer towards the parking lot Elvis. No one did. Elvis complained a little in a light-hearted way about their bad manners. He sang a few more songs. I was sitting on the front stoop of my apartment building, catching a breeze and watching the surreality occur across the street from me. A black girl carrying a plastic sack of groceries in her grip was walking down the street toward me. When she came to the spot on the sidewalk in front of me, she stopped, looked over at the Elvis impersonator and the zombie crowd of Lutherans watching him, then turned to me and said, “There goes the neighborhood,” and carried on her way.

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