If David Bowie represents to me the cocoon and emerging butterfly of adolescence and Alan Rickman symbolizes romantic love (clearly I’m of the “Truly, Madly, Deeply” generation vs. “Harry Potter”), than Prince is sex.
I mean, Prince IS sex - to anyone, really. He embodied sexual freedom. I discovered him - really discovered him beyond “Purple Rain” - when I was eighteen, a college freshman and a virgin.
My kids sometimes read my blog and I always look at it with an editing eye before I publish. But, yes, totally fine with me if they read about their virginal eighteen-year-old mother. Kids, I highly recommend it.
UCLA, 1988. The true birth of my sexuality - what has - surprise, surprise - turned out to be an essential part of my being. And the soundtrack was Prince. I danced with abandon to “Kiss” and "Alphabet Street" at theater department parties, I all but did the deed with a sweet boy in a dorm room to “For You” (the whole album a couple times over - it was a process). And, once that deed was done (an even sweeter boy, another dorm room - to Fine Young Cannibals, truth be told), I fell in love (last stop, apartment in West LA, total heartbreaker) to “Lovesexy”.
Prince, for me, is/was about being in my body, not hearing/not caring what people think, moving to the rhythm, being myself - vulnerable, powerful, maybe ugly. Prince is not giving a fuck. Or, alternately, really and truly giving a fuck. As I write, I can feel him writhing at my center - alive, moving to the beat, ready to let loose.
Sex sometimes is the truest. Often it’s false, contrived, obligatory, pretend. But at it’s best, it’s true, it’s essential. Prince was that. The human experience boiled down to a precipitate, life in a teaspoon. A five-foot-two, heel-wearing, purple-lycra-encased, electrified teaspoon of soul.