I Just Want Your Extra Time
I knew this would happen someday. After the too-soon deaths of Michael, Whitney, Amy, and so many others, I knew I would lose my favorite at some point. But I was totally unprepared for Prince’s death, news of which came yesterday via TMZ (how do they always know?). I was on a photo shoot and just happened to be browsing Twitter when the questions started popping up. Was it true? Was it a hoax? My knees were weak as I scrolled through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, desperately looking for proof that it was all a misunderstanding. My heart started pounding, then stopped completely when I read that his agent had confirmed the news: he was gone.
Anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows Prince is my fave. My social media profiles accurately describe me as a Purple Rain aficionado. My ringtone has been “Kiss” ever since I figured out how to make “Kiss” my ringtone. I’ve dressed up as Prince for Halloween – and other occasions – multiple times. I have a playlist exclusively dedicated to the music of Prince and his many protégés. In kindergarten, I claimed purple as my favorite color because that’s what he wore. I made him a part of my identity.
Dig if you will this picture…of my #Prince costume circa Halloween ’08(?). I remember walking down the street in this getup with people yelling “Prince! Sing 1999!” I happily obliged. Felt good to walk in his (tiny, heeled) shoes and live in the aura of his untouchable swag, even just for a day. #RIP mini purple genius.
If you asked me why, exactly, I couldn’t tell you. I admired his immense talent, his boldness, his style, his IDGAF attitude, his hair (I mean, come ON), his masterful side-eye, his endless creativity, his sense of humor, his prolificness. It seemed unfair, really. Who can play that many instruments? Write that many songs? Wear that much lace and lamé and make it look that damn GOOD? Who else has that kind of swag?
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) April 21, 2016
When the news of his death hit, family and friends texted me to ask if I was okay. Exes came out of the woodwork to check on me. My co-workers kindly allowed me to grieve in silence while I tried to digest the news. I had an ugly cry moment – inconveniently – in the car, while singing along to “Kiss” during a radio station tribute.
My musical genius of choice left behind a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten. It’s comforting to think that a piece of him lives on in all of his fans, and not least of all, in me.