It’s taken me a few days to try and put into words what my heart is feeling. I have yet to shed a single tear but feel as if I’ve been up all night crying.
My chest is tight and my throat even more so.
Growing up in an incredibly white town, there was not much access to diversity. We had kids “bussed in” from Springfield, MA, the neighboring city. It was supposed to create, or perhaps just the illusion of, how we were all the same.
It never really did. I remember the joy I felt when this beautiful girl, with her delicious, dark complexion would be walking and talking with me in the halls. But when lunchtime came, she sat at the table with all of the other kids from Springfield.
And she ignored me.
Although it stung at first, I understood, in some weird way, that she was protecting herself. In spite of what anyone says, or doesn’t say, there was a divide. One which was clearly taught by our elders. I don’t think it was meant to alienate, but just to “note” that there was a difference.
Prince came along in these formative years. For me, it was middle school.
Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince.
Madonna was EVERYTHING! Rolling around on the floor in lingerie. Slutty (which I LOVED), but also in control. There was no way to tell she would still be empowering women and paving the way for the LGBT community decades later, but most of her career has thrived on controversy.
Michael Jackson was a bit different. He certainly became a heartthrob as a teen, but we also knew him as a child. He had a history surrounded by rumors and an incredible backlash. So as much as he was indeed on my list of potential boyfriends, it probably wouldn’t of lasted that long.
Then, out of a steaming, clawfoot tub, in the middle of a warehouse, arose Prince.
What on earth were these feelings I was having? Tingling in places I had not yet really explored.
There was this tiny man, wearing makeup, and ruffled blouses. He was, and still is, the definition of sexy.
And unapologetic. He didn’t need to be. Everyone was on board. No “slut shaming”, no “creepy skin lightening,” he was just Prince.
Always surrounded by the most exotic, beautiful women, yet never being dismissive of them. In fact, he put women on a pedestal. He groomed them. He mentored them. He LOVED them. Although it was incredibly erotic, there never seemed to be anything degrading or lascivious about his behavior.
His songs embodied all of that.
It was who he continued to be for the entirety of his life.
I think the reason it hurts so much is because I never fully comprehended that until he passed.
He was always just there.
My mother said to me a few days ago “Why are you so upset, you never talked about Prince?”
My response was simple, “I didn’t have to.”
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