Prince had died that morning, but my wife and I could not stay in Minnesota; we were flying back to New York in the afternoon, and when we said goodbye to my mother in her hospital room, she said to me, "I remember the dance at college, with your father, and they played 'Purple Rain', and all this purple smoke came pouring out on us. They must have had smokepots."
It was the Purple Smoke Dance story again, and its impossibility remained 100%. She went to college in the late 60s; 'Purple Rain' debuted in 1983. As it happened, the first time she told the story was also a day we were set to return to New York, a year earlier. That was just a visit; the song had come on the car radio. No one had died; no one was in the hospital.
Minneapolis fell away that afternoon as the plane rose quickly; I had come with two kidneys, and now one was down there somewhere, inside my mother. Her final years would be not so filled with sickness now. Would more vivid memories bloom like spring, of kings she danced with, and magic she breathed?
8 May 2016