I've been reluctant to do any writing about Prince. Reluctant for fear of it coming off trite, or like bandwagon-jumping. I'm not a music writer after all, and you can't easily relate my beat — food— to Prince.
He obviously got his nourishments via celestial energy waves from the heavens.
But I've known of Prince since I knew what records were made for. My mother was an avid music lover, even owning a record store in my childhood. We had the Dirty Mind poster (the one where Prince is damp, wearing nothing but a barely-there pair of black briefs, and standing in the shower in a pin-up pose) framed and hanging in our living room.
To say that my family are Prince fans is a broad understatement. Like lots of Minnesotans, we lost a family member last Thursday.
And so here I am, putting my tiny story into the conversation.
I was a newly minted college student when Prince opened his sprawling nightclub Glam Slam in downtown Minneapolis.
Barely 18, I filched a purple silk dress out of my mom's closet and marched down to Nine West for a pair of five-inch stilettos. I then pranced over to the club, full of youthful naiveté and not much in the way of work experience aside from scooping ice cream. I finagled myself an interview and exited with a position as hostess. I don't know how I did it — they must have seen the conviction in my eye.
On my first shift, I worked the VIP desk in a black suit with a blazer cut practically down to my navel. I visited the ladies room, and on my way back, there he was. Occupying what was known simply as the Prince Booth, he sat alone, seemingly glowing from within.
If everything surrounding him was shades of black and gray, then he was golden light, emanating from some unknowable source. This is truly my recollection. He locked eyes with me. We stayed that way until I was able to walk back around the corner, to my mundane little post at the desk, heart pounding out of what existed of that jacket.
I just knew I was going to get to know Prince. In the biblical sense.
But about an hour later, he strolled past the desk, cane in one hand, lollipop in the other, strutting that strut, and paying me about as much mind as a potted plant.
And that was my brush with almost going to bed with Prince. Sooner rather than later, I was back to my college papers and homework, stilettos shelved in the closet, and Prince was busy changing the world with his music.
I'm still that dumb girl carrying around the thrill of what it felt like to have Prince look her way for a few short seconds. And that electric awe, distilled to its essence, doesn't begin to scrape the surface of the past 40 years of feeling.