There Are Zero Fucks Left
I am currently picking little pieces of my brain up off my keyboard.
I am lighting sage and waving it around my cubicle to rid it of negative spirits.
I am polishing my gold microphone gun with an imaginary Samuel L. Jackson Jurassic Park cigarette dangling from the corner of my mouth and fixing to aim that shit at somebody’s face.
All because once upon a time, a Millennial had the courage to ask me the following question:
“I understand that I’m going to upset you with this question, but understand he was before my time. That being said: what is the attraction with Prince?”
I did not answer back then. I did not feel it dignified response.
Welp. I gotta answer now.
This will be quick. I will answer it quite simply and as plainly as possible. You can read the rest, which I’m sure will be an emotional autobiographical diatribe, or you can just rock with the following two sentences, and I’ll send you a playlist on Dropbox to back this shit up. Here’s your answer. Ready?
Prince was the one who taught us what Fuck is because Prince is and forever will be… Fuck.
Fuck is what we all hoped to achieve in this life when you break us down to our core. So when I say Fuck, I mean Prince literally was the embodiment of Fuck. In movement. Talent. Ideology. Existence. Breath. Art. Swag. Genius. Spirit. Color. Life.
Can it be that simple? Yup. Pretty much. That’s it. Nothing else to it. But if you need more…read on.
So if you’ve let that sink in, you now realize that Prince is and forever will be Fuck in every imaginable usage. Noun. Transitive verb. Intransitive verb. An adverb. An interjection. A conjunction. A resignation, rapture, trouble, mistake, disgust, lust, greeting, confusion, agreement, unicorns, rebellion, joy, anger, retaliation, apathy, suspicion, love…it’s endless.
Don’t believe me? Listen to fans battle it out for the GOAT Prince album. The GOAT B-Side. They can’t. Fuck is subjective. It always changes because that’s what Fuck does. It quite simply depends on where the Fuck is in your life.
We learned what Fuck was thanks to Prince.
That’s why we go ape shit. Men. Women. Straight. Gay. Black. White. Latino…
Look. Ever been to a Prince concert? One gigantic Fuck.
Insecure men hate Prince because they can’t understand how something so tiny and demure can Fuck like that.
Sex cheapens this Fuck. This has nothing to do with person meet person, disrobe, and fondle each other’s bits with friction until something pleasant happens.
No. I’m talking a “fear for your soul” type of Fuck. It’s this kind of Fuck that has ruined lives. Made kingdoms fall. Memories of this Fuck is making your Mom smirk as she reads this because she knows the first and last name of the last guy who Fucked her like that.
And she’s stalked him on Facebook.
Yeah. You’re getting it. That kind of Fuck.
Now what I’m going to need you to do is take that particular kind of Fuck, and move it into an another dimension. If this were that black hole at the center of Interstellar, and Matthew McConaughey was floating around the fourth dimension trying to explain to your simple ass what Prince is, he’d float along the timeline of Fuck and hope his vibrations and gravity would make the dust settle into the first four bars to “Purple Rain” to enlighten your fuckless self.
Still nothing huh?
Need a reference you can relate to? OK. How about this.
Your first really good Prince album is not different from the first time somebody slipped a panty/boxer hole to the side and touched a bit of skin softer and warmer than all of the other skin on that body. They knew what you wanted before you even knew. Know that that feeling of “wait, what in the hell is about to happen to me?” Know that pleasure panic? You were too far gone and had no choice. You just let it happen. You don’t even know if that thing should fit in there, but damn it, he hasn’t made a wrong move yet so far so let it happen. Just go ahead. Use spit if you have to. Dear God, just make it fit.
No, Prince is not “make love”. That’s Marvin Gaye. Sigh. You’re still not getting this, huh?
Your first Prince slow jam? Ha, well…your first Prince slow jam is like…you know that warm, breathy condensation on the back of your neck right before the tongue licks just the right spot? No, it’s not that.
It’s the shiver.
Your first live Prince guitar solo sounds exactly like three seconds into your first orgasm. That part when you’ve already realized what’s happening, and you are frightened because the power’s creeping. All good things they say, never last. But maybe it does. And maybe it happens over and over. And maybe there’s joy in…well, you know. And before you are ready, yet exactly when you are ready, it’s over. And you don’t know if you’ll ever get that shit again, but you damn sure are going to try. As many times as possible.
Now, Millennial, I get your confusion. If you came along after Larry Graham, you had to dig for the Fuck. You had to work to uncover it. It’s like trying to imagine your Dad without a mustache when he’s had it all your life. You don’t know there’s something real and different under there. So it’s pretty clear you wouldn’t understand upon first glance, but oh yes, it’s there.
And yes, he’s always been spiritual and in super love with God and that’s sort of what we liked about the Fuck. It wasn’t cheap. There were levels. He found his true religion and cleaned up, did a few talk show appearances, played with butterflies on a comedy series so you’re like…whatever. What’s the big deal? He’s known for a song he sang over 25 years ago? You’re asking, is this tiny man with a cape, sunglasses, and a cane deserving of all this screaming, passing out and walking out unannounced and making your grandma moist and shit? Yes baby. Yes. Because a good Fuck deserves nothing less than screaming.
Listen Stella. I’ve lived this Fuck for decades. I breathed this Fuck. I’ll have you know that this Fuck is so real for me that my father tried to save me from this Fuck, and then, as an adult, he admitted it was one of the best Fucks ever to exist. That kind of Fuck.
I’m not going to bore you with how I got to this point but if you insist on the blah blah blah and all the receipts…my cousin…blah blah… cassette tapes…blah blah… “1999,” “Prince,” “Dirty Mind,” “For You,” “Controversy” on loop…game over. Yes I was a kid and whatever. Your six year old can sing “Partition,” I sang “Sister.” But I guess that’s no excuse.
Mom didn’t pause when I wanted to see “Purple Rain.” The album cost $8.99 in TSS, and it was made out of plutonium. (I asked my Mom what “masturbating “ meant. Cool as the other side of the pillow, she took a drag off her Kool and said, “Look it up.” I did. “Stimulating one’s own…” I looked at her confused. She took another drag and kept watching tv. Because, parenting. I’d figure it out one day.)
My little sister got a 45 single press of “Lets Go Crazy” for Christmas. I discovered “Erotic City” on the B-Side. She never saw it again. I didn’t give a fuck…back. Ever.
I bought an alphabet stencil that was 8"x5" and cost three dollars. Three days later, the lyrics to “Adore” were stenciled on my purple bedroom wall. It took three more months to plaster all (save but one) of the purple walls with posters of his image. One week later, a monster watercolor finger-painted Love-Symbol took up all the space on the last wall. (However, it only took five minutes to learn that black lace draped around a lamp with a red lightbulb will indeed catch fire. It ended well.)
“The Scandalous Sex Suite” rocked me to sleep every night. If I wasn’t asleep by the time Kim Basinger’s moaning finished, I’d get up and start it all over again. Did I mention I shared this bedroom with my younger sister? The same one who spent the dollar I had signed by the entire original New Power Generation? The sister I tried to murder? No? Well, I did.
Wanted to date me? No Fuck was not an option. I needed B-Sides. I needed the guitar solo at the end of “Question of U” and the two clap-two clap-three clap. I needed sleeping on dirty NYC streets for concert tickets. No. Fuck. Was. Not. An. Option. Rent, food and clothing are optional. “I don’t like anything beyond “Purple Rain”” means you can’t Fuck. Don’t waste my time.
Blah blah blah…I make enough money now to fly to Vegas for opening night of “3121”. I can buy tickets online now. I can take friends. Family. Get Purple signals from bouncers, DJs and audio rental facilities telling me to rush to club “such and such” at 2AM and use code word “Secret Prince Shit” and be prepared to be there until dawn. Join secret Facebook groups where bootlegs I used to hunt for in “Revolver Records” had become files and were shared freely behind his back. I didn’t have to fly to Europe for the 4 hour encore experience. The concert was posted the next day. But watch it RIGHT NOW. HURRY BEFORE HE FINDS OUT! Cuss out Tidal via Twitter for the shitty audio during the Baltimore concert and question myself seriously. This is ridiculous… and way too much work. Come on. Wasn’t I too old to Fuck now?
And it wasn’t until that question was asked did I know the answer.
You’re never too old to lay in it. To stare up at the ceiling and giggle after it. To let it calm down on its own. To keep a credit card at zero balance just in case he popped up. To cancel plans with friends and family by simply saying, “Prince is in town.” and have them accept this as a perfectly logical excuse.
There’s always something Fuck showed you, that was IN you, that you didn’t know what there. It kept you here. You came here a million times but this time, when you heard it… THIS time, you got it. There are people way smarter and much more qualified than me to talk about his musical ability. Who can analyze musicality in ways I could never. But damn it, I know Fuck when I feel it. I’ve known it before I knew what it was. And that’s what we all felt. It. Raw connection. Stripped down. Stripped down. Elephants and Flowers.
Hey…sorry if I was a little hard on you Millennial, but do you get it now? Do you understand why Fuck can not be replaced? Why Fuck must be respected? Cool. Now you know why the world has just shut down for business today.
Because of course, just when you thought it was safe to claim the right side of the bed and turn over and kiss the Fuck goodnight for the millionth time, you’re going to wake from your afterglow, startled.
Just like the cheeky prankster he always was, he didn’t even announce he was leaving. This event was happening. This was not a discussion. Just like he came in. It wasn’t ever up to you.
He just got up, pulled on his pants, smirked, grabbed his car keys, cane, and said the very thing we’ve always been afraid to hear but always knew true.
“I’m not yours.”
“You’ll see him again,” my Dad consoled. “He wasn’t meant to be here. He wasn’t of this world. He wasn’t supposed to stay here too long.”
Nobody knows this better than I do. I know Dad.
I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know.
I know but…now what? What fucks do we have left? If you think about this…if you really think about this…
***Shout out to Pierre for the correction. 17 Days is the B side to When Doves Cry…not Let’s Go Crazy. I dug in the crates to double check and sho nuff… Thanks for that. ***