Friday, May 31, 2013
Driving with Prince
I spent my third year of law school on splendid adventures with my friend Alex. The pockets of time I wasn't studying or editing the law review expanded to fit our silliness.
We biked, flew kites, and took country line dancing lessons. We went to a roller rink, a monster truck rally, and a circus. When the law library closed at 2 a.m., we wandered around Colonial Williamsburg in the black of night. Mostly, we drove. Anywhere and everywhere.
On warm sunny days, we would drive to the outlet mall to purchase a new CD, then drive around the countryside listening to our latest purchase. Sometimes we drove to the ocean--whether it was daylight or not--and sometimes we drove aimlessly out in the country.
Alex did most of the driving, at least until I got the car with the sunroof. The sunroof was a luxury, and we always chose the sunroof car in the daylight.
I associate those drives with Prince's The Hits/The B-Sides, our most memorable CD purchase. A multi-disc set with all the songs I knew and a multitude of raunchy ones I didn't, that album is the soundtrack to my spring of 1996.
When I hear a Prince song today, I can still feel sunlight on my shoulders--with my friend sitting next to me and my grown-up life ahead of me. I remember a time when the only person relying on me was me. When I had the time to do nothing but drive.
Yesterday was our first sunny summer day. After I took the kids to school, I opened the sunroof. I cranked up the music, and I listened to Prince. At a stoplight, I emailed Alex to tell him I missed him because he was the only thing missing from the scene.
Grown-up life is now in full swing. Seventeen years have passed. I have a husband, two children, and a minivan. But that minivan has a sunroof, and my iPod holds all of The Hits/The B-Sides. Once the kids are at school, I open the sunroof, crank up the Prince, and sing along the same way I did seventeen years ago.
The more life changes, the more I stay the same.