July 27, 2004

20 years later

December 2nd 1984. I was sixteen years old, and for the very first time my mother was going to release me from my mundane suburban prison and let me and my friend Sue K take the bus from Bramalea to the epicentre of civilization, Toronto.

My mother let me go to Toronto, because if she didn't I would die.
There was The Prince Concert at Maple Leaf Gardens. It was the Purple Rain Tour, and to me, Prince was a genius, who was also godlike in his beauty.


I spent hours analyzing his poetry, I knew he was talking to me....well, fine, not me...I mean he had never met me, but it was clear that he was searching for someone like me, and that the only reason that he didn't love me was because he hadn't met me. I believed that really, the only thing that was standing in the way of our simple, perfect love was lack of opportunity.

I would go to the concert, and there would be a moment where he would look into the crowd and our gaze would meet and in that one perfect second he would see the truth inside me and know that I was the only girl woman that would ever really see what he meant when he said "I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain". What incredible poignancy.

I spent hours getting ready. It was the 80's, so my hair took a long time, and just getting my jeans zippered up took both me and Sue. Sue was my best friend and that day, was the first time that I noticed she was really beautiful. I realized in an abstract sort of way that if you are going to a Prince Concert, and this is the one incredible chance that you will have to catch his eye, then maybe you shouldn't stand beside some hot chick who's going to screw it up for you. Then I realized that Prince wouldn't care. We were meant to be. Sue had a letter that she wanted me to give him. The letter had all the songs she had written in it. Sue didn't love Prince the way that I did, but she really respected him as an artist, and knew that if he read the songs that she was writing he would want her to work with him on his next album.

When he swept me out of the audience and into his life, I just had to remember to give him the envelope from Sue. We had it worked out, this night would change our lives.

I swear that it had never occurred to me that this wouldn't work. I swear that I was shocked to discover that the concert was not intimate, that there were many thousands of other girls women, none of whom shared my destiny and conviction, all vying for space at the concert. I swear that all I felt as Sue and I walked to our seats, the seats that had taken all of our babysitting money, the seats that we had taken our mothers on for the right to take the bus to....the seats that were the gateway to the most significant, meaningful, defining moment in our lives..... that all I felt as I walked to those seats was a horrible, nauseating swirl of a nightmare.

The seats were so far back that Prince was an ant. He would never be able to look into my eyes, I was a 85 pound, 5' tall sixteen year old in a seat that was hundreds of feet from the stage. Miles away...there was a pole in front of one of the seats, but Sue took that one. There was no way that Prince would see me. There was no way we could even throw Sue's letter. All was lost.

I have always wondered why Prince and I didn't meet that night. I can only imagine that there were forces that placed the thousands of thronging, maniacal girls, (none of whom loved him the way that I did, their love was shallow, superficial...immature) between us. Maybe Prince wasn't ready for me to come into his life. Maybe destiny meant for me to have my wonderful husband and delightful children. Who knows the answers to these questions.

All I know for sure...is that tonight, I am going here, and this time I'll be in the 17th row, and I'll have the Dublin Bay Sock. Let Destiny do what she will.

Posted by Stephanie at July 27, 2004 1:20 PM