1985 I am seven years old and obsessed with Prince. I daydreamed about marrying him, Freddie Mercury, Darcel Wynne and moving us all to a castle to live together, raise kids and animals a la Josephine Baker and live happily ever after. Raspberry Beret made me dance and all I wanted for Christmas was a real raspberry beret.
Prince was, to my mind everything boygirl beautiful, glamorous and part of the image of the person I wanted to be when I grew up.
Christmas came and inside one box it was there. A bright Fuschia raspberry beret.
I found out later, that no, in fact, you could not find a raspberry beret in a second hand store at the time but there it was. I remember the label said Liz Claiborn and when I put it on my head, I felt like the most glamorous sophisticated wonderful girlboygirl, everything was okay.
Recently I wrote about my genders, see it here. As I was working on that memories revolving around Prince were in my head. Including the raspberry beret.
After a week of frequent wear, I developed a terrible rash across my forehead. I have always been a human with particularly persnickety skin, random things give me hives, I’ve always been prone to rashy discomfort on one level or another, but that time, the reality of my newly realized allergy to wool brought heartbreak.
Prince has figured in my life at so many moments of discomfort, prurient joy and everything in between. Prince was there when I danced alone in my room as sexy as I could in my underwear. Prince was there when I illicitly dyed my hair the first time, when I figured out what masturbation was, when I wanted to feel both masculine and pretty-he was there.
Prince has been in my ear for so long, I know even though he’s not here, he’s here.
Goodbye my Mother.
I’ll see you when I come home.