A Requiem for Royalty

I’ve wanted to make this post since April 21st, but couldn’t. I just couldn’t.

Prince. My God, how am I going to live without you?

I was seventeen when I heard your voice for the first time. In fact, I sort of feel like I might have been one of your first fans. It was 1980, and though I don’t remember what month it was, I know the weather was warm.

I was standing in the bathroom of my childhood home, getting ready to go somewhere. I don’t remember where, exactly, but I distinctly remember hearing the sound of the front door open and slam.

The next thing I knew, my best friend T.M. had ahold of my arms and was dragging me out to the living room. “You have got to hear this song!” she said. She had run the whole way up from her house, nearly a mile and a half away, so I could.

In those days, stereos were massive, a piece of furniture. My mother’s stereo was solid oak, at least five feet wide, holding a radio and a turntable. Practically shaking with excitement, T.M. threw the stereo lid up and turned on the radio. She dialed to WKBI, the local AM radio station in St. Marys, Pennsylvania.

I stood and listened to your falsetto voice assuring me “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and knew I was listening to something special.

T.M. and I were all raging hormones and teenage sexual angst, and you said everything we wanted to say and did everything we dreamed of doing. Your songs quickly became the anthem of my youth, blaring out of the windows of my bright orange 1977 Chevy Camaro every single time I put the key in the ignition.

Yes, I took crap for listening to “the guy who sounded like a girl.” If I had a dime for every time someone called you a fag, I could build my own Paisley Park. I didn’t give a shit. You were my jam and I held on with both hands. I even went out in the middle of a terrible snowstorm to buy “Controversy.”

Okay, so I didn’t care so much for your later stuff. “Purple Rain” was a great album but a terrible movie. I still bought your CDs, even if I didn’t listen to them.

It’s simply not possible that the world no longer has you in it, but even you acknowledged that life is just a party and parties aren’t meant to last.

Wherever you are, I hope there’s a party.

Comments are closed.