Friday, April 22, 2016


No video. No song. Just me, Jonathon ben Macabi. And I never realized how much I patterned my contemporary persona after a certain ( really rather 'elferino' in his own way) artist from Milwaukee till he left us.

'See you standing in the purple rain'--- Ever wonder what that means?  Well, I'm gonna tell you.... Old sky is blue. New sky is purple. Rain is cleansing. Thus a new clean start.... That's it.

Marianne and Celeste and Albion and Roland know that. How could they not? Elferinos and elferinas are even more Princerians than I am.... I saw him performs once. It was about twenty years ago, at the legendary Electric Factory, an old tire warehouse in the Callowhill district of Center City. I loved that place. They left some of the old tire bins along the back wall and show-goers would lay in them like coffins, or mummy cases. I stood right by the stage. You could do that there. It was a stand and dance kind of room. Tokers milled around toward the mummy cases. Dancers filled the middle. True fans, or maybe just those desperate to feel the starlight mobbed the stage. And the lights were low. 'Vampire lights,' I called them.

How the place throbbed with sound. We were as microbes on a giant ear drum and the mortals streaming out after it was over were deaf for at least three quarters of an hour. They thought it was magic. Waitresses in nearby coffee shops thought it was torture and more than a few contemplated scalding some of the giddy bastards with the bitter, over cooked, brew such places are famous for.

But I met Prince that night.... Oh, what a vampire he would have been, or rather what a vampire the character he played would have been. Yet that's as it should be. We all have our 'stage' face. And maybe the 'stage' face is who we really are, though we're scared to admit it. Freedom costs... Don't you know?

It was in a rather better class of coffee shop. Forget what I said a paragraph or two above. The Four Seasons Hotel, I think it was, just off the Parkway, at the entrance to the quarter where all the museums (or most of them) are. They had a real cultured clientele. Came into town to see the art and the history and the oddities. Shopped in the oh so tasteful museum gift shops offering everything from gruesome ersatz medieval relics to Andy Warhol playing cards and little tins of potpourri made from cremated saints.

Prince ordered a grilled Portobello mushroom sandwich ( a vegan, you know). His companion-bodyguards had bowls of tabouli and raspberry iced tea.

I tipped my imaginary hat and toasted him with my own goblet of raspberry iced tea. His tabouli-eaters eyed me suspiciously, but he gestured for me to join him.... So I did.... He glanced at my trim, leather bootkins. I glanced at his.... We spoke of many sundry things, from ceiling wax to long dead kings.

Did he know, shall we say, that I was paranormally inclined?... Come on... this is Prince we're talking about. He knew everything.

I suspect he still does.

So now you know what purple rain means.

Could I tell you more?.... Of course...

But he was a very private individual and as a being who 'lives' poised between two worlds I am still bound to respect certain things.

That's all.....

Now let me put on a fresh, stand-up collar, fine, white shirt, zip up my trim, leather bootkins and strike sparks on the concrete as I prowl the after midnight streets...

May the purple rain fall on you......

Jonathon ben Macabi ... a.k.a. Tomas de Macabea

<more next time>

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William Meeker said...
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Billy Kravitz said...
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