Purple Raindrops

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jwhouk
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Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:35 pm

Current Events meet Wapsi Square...

---

Tina had this vague sense of unease as she unlocked the doors to Mucho Mocha that morning. Something just felt… off.

She had that feeling a few other times in the past, but most of the time it had just been one of the collective acting out, or wanting to stretch their legs a bit – but nothing this… unusual.

As she got the espresso machine going and started the process of making the traditional drip coffee, she tried to recall the last time she'd felt such a sense of unease. This wasn't along the same lines of when Phix had performed her little Nudge-ectomy, or the night before Sunshine and Miss Shelly had destroyed the Calendar Machine.

This was… something else. When had she last felt it?

She trudged down stairs to get some beans from her supply, and a bit of sugar as well. Reaching the foot of the stairs, she switched on the light – it finally worked, thankfully, unlike that one time.

She nodded to her Dia de Muertos calacas, hanging in the corner of the basement, then went to collect her goods to start the day. She was just about to head up the stairs when it hit her.

The last time she had felt such a sense of foreboding was on that day, back in 2007, when she had felt the impending loss of life that followed on the Mississippi River Bridge. But this feeling was nothing like it. It was… different. It had nothing to do with loss of many lives – just sadness.

She trundled up the stairs, and, after depositing her goods on the counter, decided to go over and turn on the simple LCD TV she had set up in the shop. She rarely turned it on, but today – today, for some reason, she felt like she needed to do it.

It was pretty much normal stuff going on at that point: AM Twin Cities was on the air, and they were talking about some exhibit that was going on over at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Tina smiled as she recognized Monica's old boss in the background, and started to prepare some coffee beans for grinding.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:35 pm

---

Monica woke up feeling refreshed that morning – and it wasn't because she had spent most of the previous night with her wonderful girlfriend, Georgette.

They'd just gone and done some goofy stuff – bowling, playing at the arcade attached to the lanes, even getting a little "funky" (as Jet liked to say) by doing some dancing on the makeshift dance floor that the Bowl-O-Rama had in its bar. And it was that which made her feel – revived? Rejuvenated? She only knew that she was feeling much better than she had in some time.

She still needed, however, her morning caffeine jolt. And that meant she needed to shower, throw some clothes on, and head over to Tina's for her usual.

By the time she got out of the shower, dried off and dressed, she realized it was a little later than she usually got up: 9:30, according to the grandfather clock in the hallway. It didn't really matter, since Tina's was a short walk (and a poit, if necessary) from her home.

The nice weather was a change of pace from the frigid temps the Twin Cities had been experiencing for most of the month. Welcome to April in Minneapolis, she'd thought. Now, though, it was in the 50's, heading for a high in the 60's – if the weather lady on WCCO could be believed.

She arrived at Tina's and could tell that she was a bit out of sorts. She didn't necessarily see her demon conglomeration, but she could tell that they weren't exactly working on all cylinders.

"Hey, Tina – what's up?" she greeted the barista cheerily. "You look a bit out of sorts today."

"Oh, hey, Sunshine – I don't quite know, to be honest. I've just had this feeling of… well, just being off a bit, all morning."

"You haven't been falling asleep before you do that lights-out thing, again, have you?" Monica replied.

"Oh, no, no – nothing like that. It's just…"

The TV broke away from the talk show that was airing to a "SPECIAL REPORT" on the screen.

"We have breaking news at this hour; there are reports that paramedics have been dispatched to Paisley Park in Chanhassen. While nothing is official, the reports suggest that music icon Prince was found passed out at the compound."

The two stopped, staring at the TV screen.

The reporter went on that 911 had been called, and Carver County EMT's were dispatched to the scene. The entertainer had been showing signs of illness lately, cancelling a concert earlier in the month in Atlanta.

The two looked at each other.

"Prince?" Monica said. "Ohmigod…"

Tina sudden seemed to freeze up.

"Uh, Tina? You okay in there?"

"He's dead." She spoke in that spooky, somewhat other-worldly voice that came out at times. "He's dead… That was it. He had not been feeling well, and now… he's dead."

Tina suddenly came back to her "self" – and leaned forward on the counter in sudden fatigue.

"TINA?" Monica rushed up to the counter to make sure her friend hadn't just checked out herself.

"I'm… I'm sorry, Sunshine, but I just… felt it, somehow."

"You know, this is beyond spooky, even for you," Monica began.

The door opened to the shop, and Shelly walked in.

"Hey you two – what's happening?" She immediately saw that Tina was nearly doubled over. "What's wrong? Something up?"

Monica only waved her hand toward the screen.

"What the…" Shelly looked up at the screen just as the reporter was looking down at something on her desk.

"We have just received a report that the Carver County Coroner's Office has been called out to the Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen. We are trying to confirm reports, but it appears that Prince has died at his home. More details as we have them in the WCCO newsroom…"

The "SPECIAL REPORT" screen gave way back to the AM talk show that was airing at that time.

"PRINCE?" Shelly was shocked. "Ohmigawd…" She looked at the other two. "He… he was the reason why I took up guitar."

"He played at one of the first concerts I was allowed to go to after I got out of the hospital," Monica said.

Tina said nothing, but went back to making coffee for the two.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by TazManiac » Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:20 pm

With a lull in customer traffic, Tina moves over to the PC she had set up to control background music in the coffeehouse.

She starts a new playlist, not sure yet what all it will contain, but 'Lets Go Crazy' is a good start....

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:44 am

Image
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:58 am

---

Jacqui and Luci were both looking at the TV in the waiting room with blank stares when Shelly walked in.

"Hey, Jacqui, did you hear about..."

"Prince? Yeah." Jacqui wiped a tear from her eye. "Damn shame. They're saying now that they found him passed out in an elevator at Paisley Park."

Luci said nothing to either Jacqui or Shelly, simply choosing to go back to her desk in the back room.

"Remember how much we joked that we were gonna open for him some day?" Shelly sighed as she took off her leather jacket. "Guess that's not going happen anytime soon."

"Hey now - remember how we ran into Cymone at that one gig?"

"Yeah - that was about as close as we got to doing anything with the man." Shelly blew out a sigh. "Guess we're going to be hearing Purple Rain on repeat the entire weekend."

"I think Controversy probably would be a better choice. Or maybe just play Musicology through - that'd freak some of our regulars out, hey?"

Shelly smirked. "LoveSexy would be a bigger freak out. Oh, hey, do you have Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic? I loved some of the bass drops he had on there..."
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by TazManiac » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:00 pm

Atsali sat up in bed late that night with her headphones in, listening to some recommendations she'd gotten in an email to her pondering "So what was the big deal anyway?, I mean, I know he was some kind of Rock & Roll star or something...".

After hearing "Nothing Compares to You', 'Sometimes it Snows In April', 'Another Lonely Christmas', & 'Condition of the Heart' back to back she found herself weeping, sad yes- but not tragically so, more a bittersweet melancholy kind of feeling.

The songs had touched a deep part of her self and it was something she often didn't get from interactions with other people.

Returning to the email Atsali noticed the next set was promising to be a bit more fun, uplifting even...

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:03 pm

"She wore a raspberry beret
The kind you'd find in a second hand store
Raspberry beret
And if it was warm, she wouldn't wear much more
Raspberry beret
I think I looo-ooove her..."


"Oh wow," Atsali said to herself. "I think I've got one of those in my closet!"
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:20 am

---

The impromptu dance party at First Avenue was not the headache that Justin expected.

Called in on short notice to provide crowd control for the impromptu wake for Prince, he heard more of Prince's songs than he had even thought one man could ever produce.

The DJ's were keeping the crowd's spirits up - and as a light drizzle began to fall over the throng outside the club where he had filmed his magnum opus, they launched into the extended version of the film's soundtrack.

"I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you
Laughing in the purple rain..."


The crowd belted out the refrain, drowning out whatever vocals could be heard coming from the makeshift speakers.

"Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
I only wanted to see you
Bathing in the purple rain"


There was a tap on Justin's shoulder. It was Shelly.

"Amazing, isn't it?" she shouted into his ear.

"Haven't seen anything like this since the All-Star Game a few years ago," he nearly hollered back.

"They loved the man," Shelly said as the guitar fill ended.

"I never wanted to be your weekend lover
I only wanted to be some kind of friend
Baby I could never steal you from another
It's such a shame our friendship had to end"


Justin and Shelly found themselves joining in with the rest of the crowd on the chorus:

"Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
I only wanted to see you underneath the purple rain"


Justin started in on an air guitar - much to Shelly's amusement.

"Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing
It's time we all reach out for something new
That means you too
You say you want a leader
But you can't seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain"


"Purple rain, purple rain
Purple rain, purple rain
(If you know what I'm singing about up here, C'mon raise your hand)
Purple rain, purple rain
I only want to see you, only want to see you
In the purple rain "


The song defined the night. And, after Justin was finally relieved at sometime around 2:30 that morning, he and Shelly collapsed on the bed together in exhaustion - and, in some strange way, full of love and peace.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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jwhouk
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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:34 am

---

The next morning, Atsali met up with Nadette at Mucho Mocha - and Nadette was a bit confused at Atsali's attire.

She was wearing that yellow sundress they'd seen at the Galleria the last time the Paranormal specials were available. Atsali was wearing an off-the-shoulders vee-top with purple shorts and...

"What is that on your head?" Nadette asked.

"It's a raspberry beret, silly," Atsali smiled. "Don't you listen to the news at all?'

"Oh." It took a peek down at her purple shorts before it suddenly dawned on Nadette what it meant. "OH! But wait a minute - how'd you find a raspberry beret?"

"Heh, well, it wasn't at a second hand store, I can tell you. No, I've had one in my closet for a while. I remember buying it once when I was still at the orphanage. It was such a cool color." She stopped for a moment. "I think I wore it once, and people started looking at me strange, so I stopped wearing it. I thought it was because it made me look stupid. I had no idea until last night..."

"Wait - you had never heard of 'Raspberry Beret' before last night?" Nadette was incredulous.

"Well, I'm not from the Twin Cities originally, you know..."

Nadette laughed. "Neither am I, but even I knew that song... Hey, I know."

Nadette looked at her with hooded eyes, then began to sing:

"You don't have to be beautiful to turn me on
I just need your body baby
From dusk till dawn...
"

Atsali laughed. "Hey I know that one!" She promptly joined in:

"You don't need experience to turn me out
You just leave it all up to me
I'm gonna show you what it's all about..."


They both sang the chorus with gusto:

"You don't have to be rich
To be my girl
You don't have to be cool
To rule my world
Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your..."


They reached over and planted their lips on each other, blushing.

"Kiss."
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:01 pm

---

The entire weekend had been unofficially dubbed "Party 4 Prince" in Minneapolis.

Tina saw many of her regulars struggling as they walked in for their usual drinks - mostly from partying all night. She gladly got them their caffeine fixes, even as her music streaming service was halfway through The Hits 2.

The rush of customers was lighter than usual, she noted; some of her regulars had decided to sleep through the morning.

Sleep. She hadn't done her usual "shut down" mode last night when she got home. Instead, she just laid down on the bed - and was out in a few minutes.

She bit her lip. Ever since Bia had visited the collective about a few years ago, she had been been experiencing these things called "dreams". They were exceptionally weird, since they seemed to be more relevant to the "old" Tina - what Miss Shelly jokingly called "Tina 1.0" at times.

Reaching out under the counter, she pulled out that old notebook that she'd found among her items after the accident. The writing was all in short-hand, as M had told her, but there were some odd things among the scribblings: there were names. Monica had realized right away what it was - a case book. Shelly had done some research, and had told her that Tina 1.0 had been - of all things - a psychiatrist. The names were pretty common, but there was one she recalled seeing...

The organ-like strains of "Let's Go Crazy" began over the shop's speakers as she thumbed through the notes. She'd seen it - where was it?

"Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life…"


Tina flipped through the pages, looking at names – John Smith, Janice Reilly, Eduard Martinez, Tomas Crawford…

And just as the guitar began to pick up, she found it.

Prince Nelson.

"So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything'll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby...


The whole of the collective gasped as she struggled to read the scrawl on the pages. Had she been the "shrink" that Prince had been seeing?

"'Cause in this life, things are much harder than in the after world
In this life, You're on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor…


Tina thought about it for a moment, then decided to put the book back under the counter. Maybe she'd ask Monica about it, later.

Much later.

The bell on the front door indicated another customer had come in. She hurried back behind the counter, putting on a smile and a "What can I get for you?"
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by GlytchMeister » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:20 am

Not my John Smith.

(Just avoiding confusion) :P
He's mister GlytchMeister, he's mister code
He's mister exploiter, he's mister ones and zeros
They call me GlytchMeister, whatever I touch
Starts to glitch in my clutch!
I'm too much!

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:37 am

GlytchMeister wrote:Not my John Smith.

(Just avoiding confusion) :P
Hey, I had several Johnathan Smiths at my facility in Waukesha. ;)
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by FreeFlier » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:32 pm

jwhouk wrote:
GlytchMeister wrote:Not my John Smith.

(Just avoiding confusion) :P
Hey, I had several Johnathan Smiths at my facility in Waukesha. ;)
At one point I had 5 Daves in my work group . . .

At another time we had two Sues, two Ricks, three Daves, two Scotts, three Mikes . . . seems like there were others but I don't remember.

--FreeFlier

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by AmriloJim » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:05 pm

Not sure about the rest of y'all, but I'm still in paisley-earworm-mode here.

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by TazManiac » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:02 pm

AmriloJim wrote:Not sure about the rest of y'all, but I'm still in paisley-earworm-mode here.
'Paisley Park' is a decent album, to play all the way through, now that you mention it.

(Current Heavy Rotation as I type is the compiled 12" (often ReMix versions, definitely Extended) - It includes a lot of B-Side songs folks don't normally get to...

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by AmriloJim » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:39 pm

Tazzy, the "paisley" modifier was intended to be inclusive of all his work, but I'll second your motion.

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:39 am

---

Amanda had been busy all day Thursday with an on-location photo shoot for Twin Cities Magazine. It wasn't until she got home to her studio that she found out about Prince.

She understood how distraught Monica was – hell, Amanda had been the one who'd suggested taking her to a Prince concert back in '98. The New Power Soul tour wasn't much to speak of – his music had been extremely rushed at the time, as he had been trying furiously to get out of his contract with Warner Brothers.

But it was Prince. And Amanda was a huge fan. She never told Monica, but she had gone back to the same tattoo artist who had done her right bicep ink and had him put the "Love Symbol" on her left hip.

As she was going through the photos from the previous day's shoot, she cued up her playlist of her personal favorite album, Sign O' The Times – and her favorite song from it:

"You walked in, I woke up
I never seen a pretty girl look so tough
Baby, U got that look
Color you peach and black
Color me taken aback
Crucial – think I want you…"


She found herself dancing in her chair – enough to get Selenium's attention. He jumped up onto her lap, and she petted him as the song continued:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the dream we've all dreamed of
(Oh, Please)
Boy, versus girl, in the World Series of Love.
SLAMMIN'!"
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:42 am

---

That night, Jin was already getting tired of the tributes.

"Never met the man, but honestly – every song a Prince song?'

The Cerberus Club, like every other nightclub in the city, had devoted their entire playlist to Prince's music. Even as Jin was nursing her drink and whining, Alan just kept shaking his head.

"Oh come on," he told her over the sounds of "DMSR" in the background. "Everyone in this town has a Prince story. He was born and raised here, hit the big time here – everyone has some tale about how he crossed their lives."

"Well, it didn't happen with me," Jin replied, taking a long sip from her gin and tonic. "I was too busy keeping things running smoothly."

"Meanwhile, the rest of us were having fun," he chided her. "And some of us ended up running into him after a Morris Day concert."

Jin stopped and looked at him. "Morris Day?" She pondered this for a second. "When did you ever get to a concert with him and The Time?"

He smiled smugly at Jin. "Week before we met. Day was demoing a new album over at Seventh Street, and Prince came in for a surprise appearance on guitar on 'The Bird.'"

Jin tilted her head. "The Bird? Never heard that one."

Alan's eyes went wide. "Seriously? You have never…? Oh, we HAVE to fix this…"

He got up and made a beeline to the DJ's booth. Jin watched as he made a few hand gestures, pointing back at her, then he reached into his pocket and handed him a few bills.

After that, he came back to the table and tugged her out onto the dance floor. "You, milady, are about to find out how to do 'The Bird'."

"WHAT TIME IS IT?" came over the speakers, and the opening strains of the song came full blast on the throng that descended onto the floor.

Suddenly, everyone started doing this Macarena-style dance… but it wasn't the Macarena. This was a dance move that looked completely original – and obviously sexy.

"America, have you heard?
I got a brand new dance and it's called 'The Bird'…
"

Jin got a little twisted around as she did the hand moves on her hips, but after about the third time around, she got it – much to Alan's delight.

"You don't need no finesse or no personality
You just need two arms and an attitude
And everybody sing with me, come on now
AWK! Hallelujah!
Ohhh ohhh ohhh oh!
AWK! Hallelujah!
Ohhh ohhh ohhh oh!
"

Jin found herself laughing and enjoying herself as she did the hand motions, the gyrations, the hip move then turn then CLAP!

And Alan was loving every minute of it.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by TazManiac » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:40 pm

OK, it's official- JW is Da Man...

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Re: Purple Raindrops

Post by jwhouk » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:37 pm

In case y'all didn't know, Prince originally recorded (all instruments except for vocals) the tune that became "The Bird."

The dance moves (at least the ones I learned) are somewhat similar to those of the Electric Slide - except that you do a little "roll" thing with your hands.

It varies from place to place and part of the country, but joining in on the AWK! is encouraged.
"Character is what you are in the dark." - D.L. Moody
"You should never run from the voices in your head. That's how you give them power." - Jin

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