“I keep your picture
beside my bed.
And I still remember
everything you said.
I always thought
our love was so right.
I guess I was wrong.
I always thought you’d be
by my side, Baby,
now you’re gone.”
In Tribute: A Love Story Inspired by a First Love
I want to go back to 1999.
I want to go back to 1999, when we’d barely stopped calling ourselves Girls & Boys, and all I wondered was what life would be like If I Was Your Girlfriend. I’d literally Count the Days, waiting for you to notice me. Yes, I did. I remember took 17 Days to finally get your attention.
And When You Were Mine—at last—I’d wear my the Raspberry Beret and coat of Pink Cashmere you loved to see me in (because it’s Minneapolis, and Sometimes it Snows in April), adorn my ears with the Diamonds & Pearls you gave me, and cruise with you at night in your Little Red Corvette; from Uptown all the way down Alphabet St.
“It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night,” you’d tell me. I’d smile in agreement.
And as we drove further away from the city, up into the Mountains and Under the Cherry Moon, I’d sit close, quietly confessing how much I Feel for You; how I Adore you; how badly I Wanna Be Your Lover.
And Crazy You, you’d just smirk and ask:
“Such a lovely face, and a Dirty Mind. Do U Lie?”
“That depends,” I’d tease back. “What could possibly be the answer to The Question of U?”
You’d go silent, staring ahead at the road, and I’d realize that the correct answer was that I Wonder U; and likely always would. Such was our Strange Relationship.
“Let’s Go Crazy,” you’d suddenly say, smiling. “Better yet, Let’s Pretend We’re Married.”
I’d throw my head back, laughing in delight. There was nothing I wanted more—Just as Long as We’re Together. Just as long as wherever you went, you’d Take Me With U. Just as long as you knew I was entirely For You.
And as the car rose higher and higher into the hills, it’d seem that I could almost reach out and touch them: The Arms of Orion, stretched out above us. And in that moment, I’d think that if death truly were to do us part, I Would Die 4 U.
As if in response to this revelation, the sky then opened—a sudden downpour of Purple Rain from what moments before had seemed a cloudless violet night. And yet, there was lightning, and Thunder, and the ground beneath us suddenly became Soft and Wet.
You’d have to pull over. You’d turn to me, sliding the cap from my head, and the jacket from my shoulders. I’d hold my breath, nearly Delirious with desire for you. You’d Kiss me—deeply—then pull away, holding me at arm’s length, as I reached for you.
“There she is…” you’d say, with a smile.
“Who?” I’d ask, still trying to bring you back to me.
“The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” you’d say. And in spite of the cliché, I’d blush, grateful for the cover of darkness.
“No,” I’d respond. “It’s us. You and me; we’re beautiful together. The Beautiful Ones.”
And in that car, atop that hill, in the rain and darkness, we’d become The Greatest Romance Ever Sold. You’d Call My Name, and teach me the Joy in Repetition as we clung to each other, Insatiable in our need. It’s Slow Love, as if we have all the time in the world.
And I’d know with all certainty that I’d already fallen too far in love with you. Too far to ever completely climb out. Damn U, and my too-vulnerable Condition of the Heart.
But Love…Thy Will Be Done. So be it.
In the morning, we’d be spent and so dazed, it’d feel as if we’d traveled Around the World in a Day, though we’d still be perched atop that hill, with the city now yawning and stretched out below us. We’d smile at each other shyly, now slightly self-conscious in the light of day.
Slowly, in comfortable silence, we’d drive down, and back through the city towards the beach, almost entirely empty at this early hour, and so early in the season. We’d decide that Breakfast Can Wait; instead settling for The Morning Papers, and the juxtaposition of Starfish and Coffee and the sunrise, as we dug our toes into the sand.
And I’d wish for nothing more in that moment than for it to last. I’d pray that we were both Willing and Able to make it last. Because Somewhere Here On Earth there might be a more perfect union; but for me, Nothing Compares 2 U.
You’d be heaven. I Wish U Heaven.
And Heaven help me if I ever find a man who makes me feel like a Prince song.
(Note: it began to storm as I finished writing these words.)