When Egdar Alan Poe Turned into Elvis Presely

Once, there was a very complicated, smart boy who began enrolling in all my classes at the university.  I was teaching Korean university students to speak English.  From the time he was a freshman, he always spoke English better than the other students. In fact, when I met him, other students were struggling, but he sounded like a native speaker of English.  He seemed to have a very dark soul, but he was a very nice person.  He was a contradiction in many ways. He hung out with the craziest student I have ever met who was constantly in trouble, and this Egdar Alan Poe was always trying to keep his friend out of trouble. He was an extremely good friend.  Every time Egdar wrote a paper, even if it was just sentences in English, everything he wrote was dark. He wrote about blood. He wrote about death.  He had a real flair even on paper for English, and I could see him as a writer some day, but I also knew whatever he put out was going to be creepy.

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We had a place called the English Cafe.  It had no food or drinks, but it was a place for students who studied English to hang out, do homework, etc.  I had a group that I taught English Bible to as an extra curricula activity.  Some of the students called themselves “the English Bible club.”  They enjoyed studying the Bible in English.  We had decided to meet in the English Cafe because it was hard on some of them to walk up the hill to my office where we met at times.  (If you don’t know, Korea is full of hills, and Seoul is one of the hilliest cities I have ever seen.)  As we were studying the Bible in English and talking about it in English in the English cafe, I saw Egdar Alan Poe sitting off by himself in another part of the English Cafe.  He never came to our Bible club, but he was sitting over there listening to what we were saying. Some of the students invited him to join, but he said that he didn’t believe in God.  When I talked to him afterward, he said his parents were Catholics, and he didn’t consider them actual Christians.  It was a really strange statement like many things he said.  However, it seems that every time we were having Bible discussions and reading the Bible in the English Cafe, Egdar Alan Poe was off in a distance listening. He eventually decided to join our group because he loved what we were doing so much.  He decided he had finally found a group who were real Christians, and he liked it.  He learned to believe in God.

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He was still taking every class I had. He really liked my classes.  He had been doing it for a couple of years.  The ironic thing was that he even looked like Egdar Alan Poe.  He had the same long nose and basic look of Egdar Alan Poe. He didn’t just write like him, but he looked like him.  Eventually, he told me he had won a scholarship to study in America. He was going to attend Abilene Christian University in Texas. It didn’t surprise me. He was one of the smartest, most unusual students I had ever taught.  He was supposed to go in the fall, and it was spring.

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In the summer time, the Bible study group decided to begin meeting in my office again, and he continued coming and studying the Bible in English with the rest of the group.  However, a short way into the summer, he called me and said he couldn’t come to the studies for a while, and he couldn’t tell me why.  The other students missed him, and they called him wondering what happened, and he kept saying he still believed in God, but that he couldn’t come.  We were all puzzled, but he didn’t want to tell anyone why he couldn’t come.  He called me and told me not to worry because he would see me again before he left for America.

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At the end of the summer, he called me and asked me to meet him over at E-Mart for lunch.  I went. I couldn’t find him.  Someone approached me I didn’t recognize until he began talking. It was Egdar Alan Poe, but he didn’t look like Egdar Alan Poe.  We sat and talked, and he explained that he had been having plastic surgery all summer.  His face had been very interesting, but you couldn’t have called him good looking, but he wasn’t ugly before, just interesting because he looked like Egdar Alan Poe.  However, now, he had completely changed his nose. He had also changed his eyes, They no longer looked oriental.  He had changed everything about his face!  I asked him why.  He said that he wanted to be good looking when he went to America.  Okay, I could give it to him that he was better looking, but I thought he had lost something that made him more interesting.  Maybe it was just because I was used to the way he was.

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He went on to America.  One of his buddies told me that Egdar Alan Poe had changed his looks because he wanted an American girlfriend, and he thought the surgery would help him get a girlfriend. The next thing you know, I was hearing he had had several girlfriends, one American girlfriend right after another at Abilene Christian University. Egdar Alan Poe had changed into Elvis Presley!


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