There are so many things I could write about today. I could write about the vagaries of missing the SECOND DAY of a one hundred day project. I could share some of the awful copy I wrote yesterday for my business. I could write about the panel I was part of yesterday, about technology as a parallel career to an arts career. I could write about my orientation at the Small Business Development Center. I could write about DrupalCon and the BoF I am leading about Drupal in the arts.
But really, there is only one thing I can write about today.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Electric word, life. It means forever and that's a mighty long time, but I'm here to tell you: There's something else.
A world of never ending happiness. You can always see the sun, day or night.
I remember being OBSESSED with Batdance, because I was 5 and in love with Batman and by the transitive property, in love with Prince.
I remember seeing his MTV VMA performance in the infamous assless chaps when I was 8. I was in my Grandma Wilma's trailer and I remember her South Dakota/Pentecostal sounds of shock and disgust as a tiny buzz beneath the roar that was that performance.
The first album I ever asked for was Batdance, which isn't an album, so I ended up with The Hits 2. I was 10.
I remember a life-changing improv session to Little Red Corvette in Judith Howard's class. I remember I remember I remember.
I keep trying to listen to his music today. When David Bowie died, I listened to him on repeat for over a month. I couldn't stand to hear anything else and it felt like all his songs, all along, had been driving toward this moment, had all along he was preemptively explaining his death.
But with Prince I can only get through about 10 seconds of a song. When I was driving home today, the radio played Kiss. My eyes welled up immediately and then there was that signature moan and I sobbed so suddenly and so hard that I choked on my own saliva and almost crashed my car. I changed the station.
I just bawled my way through Purple Rain, not for the first time, but never before like that.
Without Prince I would not have moved to Minnesota. In a strange inversion of normal royal relationships, without Prince, Mad King Thomas would never have been born (our first dance was me marrying Prince while Monica and Theresa were our giant wedding bells). Without Prince...I don't know. I don't know what that world is like.
I spent a long time on a memorial to David Bowie that I still haven't published and publishing this right here as is feels pretty thin in comparison. But in comparison to Prince everything feels a bit thin.
I only saw him once, from some nosebleeds in Denver. I dragged my dad to that show--made my plans for getting to college after a summer away around getting to that show. And I felt like I was the only person in the room. I've never been in a room where 40,000 people felt like that.
I didn't shut up about Prince or listen to anything else for about five months after that show. My entire bedroom was purple. I told everyone I married Prince that summer. I made my friends a bunch of introductory Prince albums, labeled, Prince: An Introductory Prince Offer, by Tara King, aka Mrs. Prince.
- Let's Go Crazy
- I would die 4 u
- Diamonds and Pearls (live)
- Thieves in the Temple
- Do Me, Baby (live)
- Adore (live)
- It's About That Walk
- Baby, I'm a Star
- Nothing Compares 2 U
- Dirty Mind
- International Lover
- Little Red Corvette
- Raspberry Beret
- When Doves Cry
- Purple Rain
Last week I was at the Arclight, where there is a hallway hung with a bunch of framed famous mugshots. Some guys were taking selfies with the David Bowie mugshot, and then I looked across the hall and found Prince staring back at me. And I felt relieved that they weren't taking selfies with Prince, because we still have him.
I wish I could be at First Avenue tonight. I wish I could be dancing out my sadness with a bunch of other Minneapolitans, celebrating His Royal Badness, the Purple One. Seeing the city dressed in purple. I never bumped into him anywhere, even over the 14 years I was there. I never got to Paisley Park.
Earlier today, when I wasn't able to be sad yet, because this sadness is consuming me and I needed to get through my day first, I thought: Now there is space for me to take my place. The big sucking void that is left in my life by Prince and David Bowie, in their combined absence, feels so desperate and crucial that there must be someone to step in, to live the weird gender fucked lives they demonstrated so ably. Not just me, but all of us. We must step in, we must be cooler than anyone has ever imagined, we must love bigger and search harder, and just BE more than we ever have been. We can't wait, anymore. We can't rest easy, knowing Prince and David Bowie have that shit taken care of. Cuz if that elevator tries to bring you down, go crazy. Punch a higher floor.
Til they put us in a truck, let's go!