Elvis and Tupac
The waves crashed onto the wet sand, relocating empty shells of creatures long since passed, much like the two men sitting in beach chairs on the serene beach. The enchanting scenery sprawled before them, but there were more serious matters to be attended.
“I’m serious, you have to try this!” The older, larger one eyed his sandwich. Bacon, slathered with peanut butter, mayonnaise squeezing loose from the clutch of two soggy pieces of bread.
“Naw man, how many times do I have to tell you, that’s why you got all flabby to begin with. Seriously, you're bigger than Biggie now!”
The smaller one was animated, even under sunglasses his bright eyes charged with life. A dollop of bacon grease and peanut butter fell from the sandwich and onto The King's lap. Tupac shook his head, giggling. Elvis swiped at his hairy chest and mumbled. "You seen Jim? He's fat too."
"No, he's not. He got a trainer. I think he's going to make a comeback."
“Bull. If he comes back to anything it'll be the dope."
"Better than fried banana."
"Come on, like you never made a mistake?" Elvis said, swiping at his hair, his lip curling
“Maybe one, coming here with you!" he said, looking out to the waves. "I swear man, sometimes I wished you had never called!”
They both laughed. Elvis, with thinning gray hair that stubbornly refused to surrender, and Tupac, completely bald, looking years younger than his actual age of forty-two. The laughter faded, followed by a reflective silence, as if each were contemplating a sonnet or a song inside his head, a habit from a past life that was hard to break.
“Hey, guess what comes on tonight?” Elvis asked, working at the stain on his shorts with a napkin.
Tupac howled with laughter, the infectious cackle that made it almost impossible not to smile when heard. A sunburned couple walked by, did a double take and then one more as they passed.
“Ahh, get outta hear man, we ain’t watchin’ that again!”
“You have to admit, I looked good.” Elvis grumbled, flashing the trademark smile.
“I can tell you all about jail, and that ain’t it!”
"I've been to jail before."
A suspicious look, the king came clean.
"Well, I got a speeding ticket once."
"Yeah, I got into a few traffic incidents myself." Tupac added.
More silence, another round of waves. A seagull pecked and sorted through sticks and seaweed. Tupac turned to his book, The Prince by Machiavelli, soaking up a sentence before being interrupted.
“What do you miss the most?”
A boat chugged along the horizon. Tupac closed the book and pondered the question. He had learned many things in the past 14 years, not the least of which was patience. There was rush, no reacting, no anger. He'd finally learned how to relax.
“The energy. I miss feeding off of the crowd, seeing their faces.”
“I thought you were going to say the bullets, uh huh huh!”
“What about you fat man? What do you miss, besides the pills of course?”
“Low blow, toothpick. I miss the fans, before it got out of control. Before the flashy suits and Vegas, I miss the innocence of making a record and people wanting to hear it.”
The unlikely pairing had seemed odd at first, but had evolved into a perfectly formed friendship. Both had dealt with paranoia and had trust issues in the past, but had found each other's company therapeutic in it's simplicity.
A girl in a bikini top and grass skirt approached, carrying two frozen beverages on a tray.
“Gentleman, I have a couple drinks, courtesy of the two ladies under the green umbrella.”
Both wrenched their necks craning to see the source. A reporter had been spotted last week, there had been that fluff piece a years back in the Enquirer. Luckily nothing was ever validated, going largely unnoticed. But still, it only took one
A wiggle of the fingers from one of the women. Elvis smiled. Tupac missed nothing.
“Alright now, just calm down, don’t go getting your blood pressure all worked up over a couple of girls," he said, closing the book. "I got this, Fat Man."
His gold necklace bounced as he hopped up, then adjusted his sunglasses and sauntered over towards the two ladies under the shade. Elvis watched, fixing his windblown hair with his free hand before blowing the sand off what remained of his sandwich
“Ladies, why thank you for the—“
Tupac lifted his sunglasses, taking a closer look. The iconic laugh, the big screen glamour.. Right there, under the large hat and over-sized sunglasses was that million dollar smile. She batted her eyelashes. Even at her age she still had it. Not to mention her friend.
"What does a girl have to do around here to get a guy's attention?"
Damn, he thought,looking back at the king. This changes things.