Do Prince and yoga seem like a good combination to you? Not to me. Never the less, I found myself signing up for a pop-up Prince Music Yoga class.
I spent the entire day feeling confident I wouldn’t actually go. I haven’t listened to Prince since his ’85 Purple Rain tour. I loved that album. My boyfriend, who was not a Prince fan, took me to the concert anyway. After that, Prince became music of the past.
I also don’t usually go to evening yoga classes. The only evening yoga classes I go to are Yoga Nidra classes. By the time 7PM rolls around, I’m usually calling it a day. I assumed that would be the case this time. In addition the class was going to be packed. It was filled to capacity. These are the type of classes I generally avoid. I get self conscious and anxious in crowds, yoga being no exception.
I put on my yoga clothes at about 4:00, but felt confident I’d be out of them by 6. I was shocked when, at 6:30, I said goodbye to my kids and headed to the studio. I was even more shocked when I parked my car, walked into the studio, signed in and put my mat out. Before I knew it, I was doing a wall to wall packed Prince Yoga class.
In a class of 40 people, only 2 or 3 of us were old enough to have gone to his Purple Rain tour. I assumed that there would be songs I wouldn’t know. Since I had lost interest in him I assumed he had to have released more music I didn’t know, right? Turns out – No. I knew every song. I could sing along. I knew all the words. I knew when an instrumental segment was coming up and when to start singing along again.
Two songs into the class I realized why I was there.
I had been taken to the concert by the only boy I ever considered marrying before my ex. When he bought the tickets we were both students, so our budget allowed for nose bleed seats only. Instead of sitting there though, we decided to move closer to the stage to the left of the show. The seats to the left and back of the stage were completely empty, so it was easy to move. We figured we were better off not seeing him straight on but being closer the the experience. Actually, my boyfriend decided this, which as I write this I realize is odd because he wasn’t a huge Prince fan.
If you saw any of his original Purple Rain concerts you know what happened. Prince played in profile. To magnify his special effects for the audience he turned towards the left. Often. So, in a quirky twist of fate, we experienced Prince up close and personal. And, if you saw the original Purple Rain tour, you know what that meant. What he did would probably be blase today, but in ’85 it was shocking. We left the concert knowing that we weren’t really sure what we had seen, but 100% sure that we had seen more of it than anyone else.
I’ve thought about this boy often, especially during the past 2 years as I’ve become single again. I broke up with him a year later. I broke up with him at the height of popularity of the song “At this Moment”, which then became my favorite song. I broke up with him after a 2 year relationship, that we both thought was going to be forever. And tonight I figured out why. Thanks to Yoga and Prince’s death.
I broke up with him because I was afraid. I was afraid that I didn’t deserve how well he treated me. I was afraid that his desire to be good to me would lead to disaster. I felt sure that being loved as fully as he loved me was a recipe for catastrophe, because I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t who he though I was.
As I listened to the music tonight I was back in my 3rd floor, stinking hot efficiency, telling him…..I’m not sure what I told him. I remember how crushed he was. And I remember a voice in my head shouting “see through this. don’t let me get away. force me to stay with you”. He was a good guy though, and as hurt as he was, he would not disrespect my wishes. He left devastated. He left slumped over, like an old man. We talked often over the next week, “processing” the break-up. I don’t remember the content, but I remember that we talked. It was heart wrenching to both of us, so unlike the demise of my 23 marriage, in which my ex has never once looked back.
I also clearly remember the night, a few weeks later, when I realized I had really fucked up, but it was too late. On that night I tried to kill myself. He found me and got me to the hospital, and I am here today because of him. I guess that was the moment that he realized he had no clue what he had been dealing with, being with me. I think that was the day that he understood that the top layer he loved wasn’t all that was there. There was a tormented under-layer, a black hole of despair, that he had never seen. That night gave him closure, because he knew that I wasn’t who I had pretended to be, who I wanted to be, and he was too normal to relate to that; to understand and cope with that.
He married a year later. The last I heard he had 3 children and was happy. And I truly hope he is still happy. Because he was a genuine, generous, loving person. He was the guy that took care of my parents lawn when my dad was transferred to another state and my mom was trying to sell our house. He was the one who ran to the drugstore to pick up my mother’s prescription. He was the one who took my young cousins, who had just lost their father, camping on Chincoteague Island. He was a GOOD GUY. He was the guy who took me to the concert of the over-the-top musician who he didn’t understand or care for.
And that’s why I broke up with him. My internal black hole did not deserve a good guy. That part thought a good guy was a sucker, a push over, not manly; obviously seriously flawed to have fallen for me.
Instead, I married the manly guy who was the opposite of a good guy. He sure was manly though.
Where ever they both are today, Prince and my boyfriend, I hope they are both happy. And I thank them for the closure they just gave me.