Jim was missing his thumb — I don’t remember why. Sandy loved Elvis. It was the 1980s. Jim and Sandy were an older couple — neighbors — who kept an eye on me when I was nine-ish years old. They played “the good news” in their living room all the time. Finally — news that didn’t terrify me. I remember watching the Baby Jessica rescue over at their house. The only other thing I remember about their house was Sandy’s odd den. It was a shrine to Elvis, with velvet Elvis paintings adorning the walls.

Around the same time, I’d belt out “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog” and “Blue Moon” in my mom’s living room, dancing around, exuding confidence I didn’t have…