Spring 2004 I was finishing up my senior year of college, polishing up my final projects, and rushing back and forth between my job and school. Work was a $15-an-hour per diem educator gig at the South Street Seaport Museum. School was SUNY Stony Brook and I spent most of my paycheck on the Long Island Rail Road shuffling between the two.
I had no money.
I had to see Prince.
Printing up all my senior research and projects and paying for graduation crap ate up what money would have been spent on an unlimited train ticket for May, but I had just under a hundred to spend on a few roundtrips to get me through to finals in the second week of May. But I still had to see Prince.
I cut the last days of class just so I could afford two tickets (one for me, one for my mom) to see Prince. And by “afford” I mean “put it on AmEx and crossed my fingers.”
As far as I was concerned, my priorities were in perfect order: I’d already learned from my professors, but I’d never experienced Prince.
The concert was July 14, 2004. Morris Day and the Time opened the show. Sheila E. did a drum set in the middle. Prince closed with Purple Rain and my ass cried all the way to the end, one hand raised in prayer. The other, like many others in the arena, bore an umbrella.
No shame. All love.
I don’t keep mementos, but I saved the ticket. Memories fade, but things housed in polypropylene baggies are supposed to last for almost forever.
And Prince lasts forever.