Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Tears

Today is Friday. On Fridays I talk about my favorites.

And Prince was one of my very favorites.

When I heard the news yesterday, I first was in total disbelief. Then I couldn’t stop crying. Isn’t it strange to have such a strong reaction to someone you didn’t know? But my connection to his music, like for many, was an emotional one. And his death has hit me hard.

Just one week ago, I sat in the second row from the back of the Fox Theater for Prince’s Piano and a Microphone show. It was the show I’d waited my entire life to see. My absolute, No. 1, tip-top of my bucket list concert experience. He came out—a silhouetted poof of hair and heels. He sat down at the piano and started to play. And I started to cry.

I was 7 years old when I first heard about Prince. I had a babysitter named Michelle. I wanted to be just like her. She played the flute. She wore shiny lip gloss. And she brought over her 1999 tape. I was instantly transfixed by it—and by “Little Red Corvette,” especially. I had no idea what the words meant (probably for the best as an impressionable kid), but that music—that voice, made me feel things. There was power and magic and wonder in it—and I felt them all.

So last Thursday, Prince came out. He sat down at the piano, tinkled the keys and began to play:

“I guess I should have known, by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn’t last…”

I burst into tears. Those tears lasted the entire show. I held my friend LaTonia’s hand. I sang. I danced. I thanked my lucky stars that I was there. It felt like a beautiful gift. I didn’t know how much of a gift it truly was.

LaTonia and me before the show started. 
From that 7-year-old girl singing Prince into her hairbrush, to the college student who dreamed of one day finding someone who felt about me like Prince sang in “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” to the 41-year-old who sat mesmerized through his show just last week, Prince has provided the soundtrack of my life. And it’s obvious I’m not alone.

I miss him. I miss my childhood. I miss my parents. I think this loss is hitting me on a deeper level because of others I've experienced. But Prince was a person with a God-given gift. He sang from his soul. He shared his heart--and we all felt it. I’m so grateful that I grew up with his weird, purple, incomparable, beautiful influence. The world will much less...less without him.

It's been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling

No comments: