December 29, 2017
I was walking up the street in what looked like our old neighborhood in Monrovia, California with a woman who looked Asian or South American. She had light brown skin, almond-shaped eyes, and straight black hair. She walked beside me quietly, hands clasped behind her back, rather pensively. She was a slender woman, just a few inches taller than me, wearing a white top with small flowers outlined in gray, a green cardigan, and slacks.
As we were walking, this neon pink body board flew out of the sky and hit her on the head. It came out of nowhere! She wasn’t hurt, just stunned. She still didn’t make a sound—just looked around with her hand on her head to see if it was raining surfboards.
Turns out some kids were messing around, catapulting the plastic board down the block on a giant slingshot type device made from crates and other scavenged materials. They came running down the street to retrieve their board, laughing and cheering about how far it flew that time. There are about five of them between the ages of seven and ten.
It was a summer day. The boys were so full of excitement and joy—it was beautiful. I couldn’t fully appreciate their joy in that moment because I was furious! I railed at them for their irresponsibility. I said my friend could have been seriously hurt. I demanded to know where they lived so that I could tell their parents. The boys agreed to take us to their home—with no hesitation actually—so we continued walking up the hill as a group.
We arrived at a traditional Japanese-style house on a hill overlooking a large body of water. It was a simple dark brown house with rice-paper sliding doors and a covered porch around the left side of the house. It had a teak walkway. The back part of the house was on pillars going into the water. It was quite serene.
There were three or four long lines of people standing in the front yard waiting to get in. The grass gradually gave way to paving stones surrounded by blue-green moss and small puddles, then rocks and water. It was almost like a moat. We took our place in line, although I was surprised that we had to wait since the kids lived there.
As we got closer to the house, the stepping-stones became uneven, slippery rocks that swayed in the surrounding water. I was so afraid of falling into the water; it took all my effort to just keep my balance. There was an “unseen” man who helped us navigate each stone. He was never visible; just a reassuring arm across the back guiding us along the path. I can still feel him pressed against my right shoulder. It was like being held by my mom when I was scared.
Anyway, we went in as a group, me and the five boys. I think the other lady was there as well, but I don’t quite remember. Inside it was like a regular old house with plaster walls and brown carpet. It reminded me of our house in Mount Washington, CA. There were people everywhere! We walked through a few rooms full of art and music and books. The house was a bit messy. It wasn’t disgusting or anything. it just looked like you could be really comfortable there.
We were guided through two rooms and a hallway by one of the “unseen” men to an interior room where Prince was sitting on a small black leather couch reading the newspaper. It was spread out all around him. He leaned against a couple of pillows. His left leg was bent on the sofa and his right leg was on the floor. He didn’t have on glasses. His hair was cut in a tapered pixie bob with long sideburns or side bangs? (I don’t know what those things are called). He was wearing a kurta, a long white linen shirt from India, with collar embellishment and matching pants. His pants had long slits up the side so that his legs were free. He was barefoot.
It was a small room, ideal for thinking and creation. There were books stacked on a desk, art on the walls. Papers were everywhere. The windows were high and provided great light but no distracting views. I didn’t see a piano or other instruments, which was surprising. There were about seven people in the room with Prince but he wasn’t talking to them. They were socializing, eating, and admiring the wall art, before exiting through an exit door in a small hallway just passed the sofa.
The boys ran over to say hello to Prince. He closed his paper, chatted with them for a minute, then he asked me if I’d like to sit down. Oddly enough though, he didn’t move his foot so it was touching the small of my back as I sat. I tried to move closer to the left arm of the small sofa, which was now swarming with little boys, but it was no use. I couldn’t get away from that foot.
I hate feet. I don’t like looking at them and I certainly don’t want them touching me. But what could I do? It was Prince. I couldn’t ask him to ‘move his nasty foot’ or be all extra and push his foot out of my way. So I sat there stewing in my discomfort. I will say, though, that Prince’s leg was surprisingly smooth, for such a hairy man. And for some reason, I remember him wearing a gold ankle bracelet.
We never did talk about the incident with the body board. Instead, we talked about music, games, and anything that popped into their young minds. One of the boys started singing. When I asked the name of the song, they looked at me like I had farted. Turns out it was a Prince song. I was mortified (not that I know all his songs—I don’t. But hey, dream rules are different.) They all laughed, then the boys went off the play in another room and I got up to look at the art on the wall. I was about to make my way through the exit door like the others when Prince called me over.
He said my name, ‘Eryka.’ I heard it as clear as day. My heart stopped. Prince has said things in my dreams, but he has never said my name before. If I had died in that moment, that would have been just fine with me. I went back to the sofa and sat down next to him. He was sitting half-lotus and I was sitting side-saddle, so we were facing each other.
Prince handed me a book and asked me if I’d read. I hadn’t. It was a small white paperback with black, gray, gold and a bit of green on the cover. The title was rendered in bold black letters. I’ve racked my brain but I just don’t remember the name of that book.
Prince took some change out of his pocket: seven pennies, an old dime, and a nickel and put it into my hand. He took back the nickel and asked me what did I have for him. I rummage through my purse (where my purse came from I will never know) and I found a quarter and I gave that to him. Prince gave me the book, which I put it in my bag. I sat there for a minute looking at him. I think I was expecting words of wisdom, directions or something, but he just smiled at me and went back to reading his paper. I took that as my cue to leave.
I didn’t leave through the exit door like the others. I went back through the house and out the front door. The unseen man helped me across the rocks and water again. The lines of people were all gone as was my friend. The children stayed with Prince.
©2018 Joy of Eryka