at The Writer’s Block Bookstore & Cafe
In 9th grade I was a smarty/weird who was afraid of everything, especially sex.
Not much has changed.
I went to a sober dance party at Jeremy’s house, and actually ventured to dance, which seems impossible to me now, but I remember it happening.
I remember dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy.” I was enjoying the song. I owned the album, and I had studied the lyrics.
I was dancing alone, but in proximity to two girls, who were dancing together. Yelling over the music, one of the girls expressed astonishment that the song was so dirty.
I stopped us all from dancing at that moment. I had something to explain.
“No,” I said. “You’re wrong. The lyric is not, as you seem to believe, “Please come.” The lyric is “He’s coming.”
I paused. “He’s coming,” I said. “Referring to Dr. Everything’s Gonna Be All Right. From earlier in the song. So you don’t have to worry about the song being about sex.”
That was my good news for them.
They looked at me in the exact way I deserved to be looked at in that moment. With a mixture of incredulity and pity.
And I realized three fundamental truths at the exact same time.
(That’s a line I just wrote myself out of my own brain.)
1) Duh. They wanted the song to be dirty.
2) That song is TOTALLY DIRTY.
3) It is not fatal and even fun to listen to dirty things and enjoy the transgression of such things, and maybe even get a little dirty yourself (one day!)
I didn’t dance for the rest of the dance party, because I had to sit down and let my brain rearrange itself around this new knowledge.
And so I just want to say thank you to Prince, for everything obviously, but especially for fostering my sexual awakening, and demonstrating so early in my life the evils of mansplaining, and for teaching me to never stop the dancing.
That is all.