You don’t have to be cool

I hate cliches. I hate bandwagons.  I hate soporific memes.

Yet I found myself listening to Kiss in the driveway last night and crying like a baby.  I have deep pockets of precious memories linked to Prince’s music.

My friend Heather and I used to share a walkman and headphones listening over and over and over and over again to the Sign O’ The Times cassette as we rode the bus to the hell that is junior high.  A lifeline for two chubby white girls, bracketing the misery of being 13 in a public institution.

In college, Prince was my secret joy.  Hopelessly nerdy and high-strung and often alone, I listened to Diamonds and Pearls. I might look like a white bread sandwich, but I knew I was funky.  I knew that my depths were more than people saw, and part of that persona was loving Prince.

In my 20s I had a friend who would quote lines from Purple Rain to me.  It was his Star Wars, his cultural touchstone.

That friend and I don’t speak anymore.  Prince is dead.  I am a blubbering white woman cliche.  But I know I am funky.

You don’t have to be beautiful
To turn me on
I just need your body baby
From dusk till dawn
You don’t need experience
To turn me out
You just leave it all up to me
I’m gonna show you what it’s all about
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