I’d never thought I’d be one of those people. You know the ones. You’ve seen their many faces as the television cameras capture their anxious energy. They’ve prayed for one glimpse. Surely, this magical moment where time stands still as their eyes lock on those of their beloved hoping to fulfill their destiny. Desperate to be noticed, they frantically scream, “I love you!” Many will cry. Some will gaze in disbelief. Others might faint. The object of their affection is mere inches away. Hearts pounding, they breathe in deeply, alive with the electricity that floats through the atmosphere. For few hours, there souls connect on a single breath of air.
That was my experience when I first saw him leap from the top of the piano, legs split into a V, telling the world to go crazy! I was eleven years old, the same age as Mayte Garcia, the woman who eventually married this mysterious man and decades later shared their story with the world. At first, I was mad as hell. Didn’t take her long to capitalize on his death, did it? I wrongly thought. After all, this man had shaped my teenage years with his lyrics that pushed the envelope by tapping into controversial topics such as love, sex, religion, and discrimination. Fearless and relentless in his reign, I even wrote about his influence on diversity for a college class. I’m now 44 years old and am thankful for every word, every concert and everything that was and still is Prince.
On April 21, 2016, nine days before my birthday, a friend told me Prince was found dead. I didn’t believe her at first, declaring that it was one of those disgusting hoaxes that are often viewed on the internet. Sadly, my friend was right, ripping out a piece of my heart with the sickening truth. How could it be that this man who helped me believe being a misunderstood misfit was cool, soothed my soul when I was anguished, stroked my desire to be unique, influenced me to strive for greatness and most of all, never quit, was dead at the age of 57?
Many tears have been shed since then. I have recorded the television tributes that aired shortly after his death. They wait for me to view them. I haven’t gone there yet. Recently, I began listening to his music again. The intoxicating rhythms jolting me into an energy and an artist’s desire for greatness. I’m a writer not a musician, but if you want to be the best, always study the best. Prince’s influence on me was priceless and to think, we never even exchanged a hello.
I tell you all of this so that you’ll grasp the importance this artist’s life had on influencing the person who I’ve become. As you can imagine, Mayte Garcia’s novel, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, MY LIFE WITH PRINCE, left me with a plethora of emotion. And damn it…I really like and respect her! Being an animal lover, myself, I was impressed with her dedication to animal rescue. The best decision I made was to listen to the audio version read by Mayte. Hearing the inflection in her words as she spoke her truth along with the small sniffles and giggles made my heart cry for her. I was a basket case as she spoke of her pregnancy. I hope that writing this novel, was cathartic for her and I hope it was lucrative, too. She’s a single mamma, afterall. Never once did she spew hateful words and accusations that her ex-husband can no longer defend. Instead, she exposed a vulnerability, a fragile humanity that fans, such as myself, would never see. Mayte’s words sculpted Prince into a flesh and blood human being, a man who was way more than the images of the eccentric rock star that the world had come to admire.
There is no doubt in my mind, that Mayte Garcia and Prince Rogers Nelson were a match made in Heaven. Although it saddens me to realize their marriage didn’t last, their love story inspires me. It confirms this romance writer’s theory that love is the most honest, dangerous and mystifying thing in the entire world. It evolves over time, maybe strengthens or flickers, but it never dies. Love lives in your heart because it is part of your very essence.
A few things that were confirmed for me after listening to Mayte’s thoughts… Nothing or no one is ever gone when they’re loved. God is alive and He will bring beauty from your ashes. God bless you Mayte and that gorgeous little girl that you adore. I know that Amir, Boogie, Mia and Prince are smiling.