Temple of the Free (Prince Dream #6)

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


The Dye Job (Prince Dream #3)

February 6, 2017

Last night I dreamed of Prince again. It wasn’t an elaborate dream like the spaceship, just Prince hanging out with me. We were lying on the couch listening to music. It was soft jazz music, I think. I was lying almost on top of Prince and he had his arm was wrapped around my shoulder.  My heart was aching. I was lonely and I felt worthless. My head was resting on his chest just under his chin. He was so warm. I told him I missed and he held me tighter.

I was crying but tried to catch my tears before they fell on his white suit. It was an immaculately cut suit, made from a wool that was simultaneously warm and cool.  His hair was relaxed and cut in a shoulder-length bob with face-framing bangs. He was wearing a handmade white beret in a snowflake pattern. It was made with silk/wool lace-weight thread using a “00” crochet hook. The work was so fine that it draped like woven cloth; only a true master could achieve this effect.  I want to say beret glowed, but that would be hyperbole. It was radiant that’s for sure.

“I feel like a failure,” I said.

Prince squeezed my shoulder again and said: “You’ll feel better if you do something to your hair.”

Next, the dream flashed to a kitchen with dark wood cabinets and mustard yellow floors.


burgandy hair

I don’t know whose house we were in–it wasn’t mine. Prince was standing next to the open refrigerator holding a highball glass of dark red liquid. He was about to drink it and I tell him to stop because it’s toxic.


He says “then why are you putting it in your hair.”

And somehow (you know how dreams work) I could see myself standing at the sink with a blue towel draped around my neck and a burgundy afro on my head.  It looked ridiculous! Prince laughed and I woke up.




©2018 Joy of Eryka

Prince Bearing Gifts… (Prince Dream #2)

January 2, 2017

Before I went to sleep last night, I prayed, well I asked Prince, Octavia, God, Yemoja anyone to help me with my writing—to help me see a story through to completion.

Well! Last night I had another Prince dream. He was wearing all white suit with a white cashmere trench coat and I was in red robe and pajamas. Prince was bearing gifts: a big handful of them. We were in a 1980’s ranch-style house with lots of dark wood and tiles and a sunken living room. It wasn’t a house I’d ever lived in, but in the dream, it was my home.

He was sitting on the sofa and I was on the floor surrounded by gifts. They were wrapped in beautiful paper with elaborate bows and what not. I didn’t open them all, but I do remember one was a box of chocolate.  We chatted for a few minutes eating candy, then Prince got up to leave.

As he was adjusting the collar of his coat, he said: “You know this means I’m done with you, right?” I protested of course.

“When people ask me for gifts, I give it to them; then I’m done with them because they just want something from me.” He said walking toward the door.

I tried to give the gifts back but he wouldn’t take them. I ran outside after him, begging him to come back and visit again, be he just popped his collar and got back into his RV.

It was also white and kinda rusty, which is surprising for an immaculate brotha like Prince.  I banged on the door, wailing for him to come back inside for just a few more minutes. Finally, he let me into the RV.

It was an absolute mess! He said I could clean up for him—which I did, gladly.

We started down the road. Prince was driving and singing, I don’t remember the song, I just remember being amused at seeing him handling the large steering wheel. The collar of his white coat still popped to perfection. I was washing dishes.

Then I heard a toilet flush. This middle-aged white man came out of the bathroom. He was balding with that ring hair around his head. He had watery blue eyes and a weather-worn face. His name was Earl I think. He was wearing a red and black checked shirt and jeans. He looked like a farmer. Earl looked at me and said. “He let you on too?”  He had a befuddled smile on his face. I was going to ask him where were we going, but I woke up.




©2018 Joy of Eryka

The Spaceship (Prince Dream #1)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Last night I dreamed I was a terrestrial time-traveler.  Well, not really time travel, it was like we could move from place-to-place by going to sleep in what appeared to be a motel room.  Different rooms, of course.  I say “we,” but I don’t remember who the others were.

The last time we tried to move there was a five-year-old little girl with us. She was wearing pink footie-pajamas and had a melodious laugh. She reminded me of every little girl in my family–including me.

We were staying at a bed-and-breakfast run by this older couple somewhere in the county.  It was quite lovely with vintage handmade furniture and objets d’art past from mother to daughter and then again. We tried to move that night, but it didn’t work.  I woke up early and discovered people were out of their beds. You see, we had to be in bed for the move to work.

I found the little girl lying happily under the bed singing songs and eating candy.  She had an amazing story of her own to tell.  She said someone came to her in the night and took her up on a big ship and had her sit in a little chair. The beings were really big, too big to sit in chairs.  She described them, but I forgot what she said. They asked her a lot of questions, gave her candy when they finished. They tried to put her back on the bed but missed a bit.  She thought under-the-bed was interesting so she stayed there checking it out.

We tried to move again the second night.  I kept the little girl with me in my bed to make sure she went to sleep.  I checked on the guys before going to bed.  They were there as well, not sitting out watching the stars like the previous evening.

That night, the room started to shake and furnishings were lifted into the air.  The heavy bed slid across the floor, mirrors crashed to the ground or was it the wife’s great grandmother’s Havilland china? The men came to our room to make sure we were ok, especially the little girl. We continued our ascent into the air as a group.

Then out of nowhere, Prince showed up.  Yes, the Prince. He was young with feathered hair like the cover photo of his second album, Prince. I don’t remember if he was wearing a shirt or not. He asked if we had anything better to drink that whiskey. I gave him an apple; he seemed to be happy with that.  He asked how we were doing.  Then said everything would be fine once we got into some better clothes.

Chatting with him made us forget the fearfulness of our current situation.  In fact, we were now looking out the window at the people below.  It appeared we were on a ship—a spaceship to be exact.  It was one of the big round ships with steam-spitting values and rust spots, but it got the job done.  I looked back at Prince to tell him what I was seeing but he was sitting in another row far behind me, headed in a different direction.  I signed that I loved him. He signed back that he loved me too and then he signed that he loved the world. Then his ship or his part of the ship, went way.  He went away.


This dream was quite comforting. I was glad that to see Prince again.  I was surprised to see him, exceeding grateful for his presence.


©2018 Joy of Eryka

Computer Blues

After Prince died last year, I was determined to start writing again. But every time I sat down at my laptop, I couldn’t manage more than a few sentences before having a panic attack. I judged my writing not merely imperfect, but a condemnation of what I’d done with my life.The-benefits-of-handwriting-full-infographic-1

I was determined though, so I picked up a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. My answer was on page 5. Handwriting. I bought a cheap notebook and started writing. I have actively journaled since then. I can handwrite forever–fiction, non-fiction, grocery lists, you name it.

I love handwriting. It’s one fluid motion: pen on paper, my words from my own hand. I am braided into the creation process.  I know the content because my body remembers every turn and loop of each letter. And it doesn’t matter if no one can read it (not even me sometimes) because I remember the passions that scratched each stroke into the page. Even if I scratch it out, my reasons for doing so are in the squiggly lines masking their forbearers.

Is it possible to have that type of relationship with digital content? I’m not sure, but I feel like I need to get faster, produce more content…I left this too late. I no longer have panic attacks at my computer but are not quite besties yet. Maybe we can start as acquaintances and grow into friends.

So I am trying to “free write” on my computer again. I need to get past this obstacle so I can finish an important project that is just taking waay too long.

I go into “edit” mode the moment I sit down. Perhaps it is the red and blue lines of misspelled words and grammar issues. Or the finality of the delete key.

With a digital medium, I feel like I have to get it right the first time. Logically, I know this isn’t true. It is so much easier to revise on the screen than by hand.  But my creative mind frequently gives logic the middle finger.

Dancing shitI also think about the consequences (catastrophizing I think it’s called.) Once digital words are out there, you can’t take them back.  Plus, where once people would just think your writing or opinion is shit, now they can not only tell you it’s shit, they can make a dancing shit gif and share it with the world.


But, I won’t let that deter me any longer. Bring on the dancing shits.  I’ll dance with them.


Thank You, Prince

Dear Prince,

It’s been a year since you transitioned. I hope you’re settling in nicely. Do you know what you’ll do next? Well, its’ probably too early for that. You made such an indelible mark on the world, a bit of rest is good.prince smiling

Thank you, Prince, for the half-century of music, boldness, style, craftsmanship, and a side-eye that melts titanium.

Thank you for the incredible catalog of published work. I’ve been listening to it consistently for the past year, but I still haven’t gotten through the whole thing. I’ll listen to a song—one I’ve Prince spillitheard a hundred times—then a nuance in the lyrics, vocals or composition will come to the fore, changing the entire experience.


So now I listen with fresh ears–every time

You once said that yoprince superbowlu are Music. That’s certainly true, but I’d add Creativity to that as well.  Your music is as instructive as it is evocative. I marvel at the breadth of your skill: lyricist, composer, arranger, singer, musician10, producer, conductor, studio master. Not to mention your unwavering discipline and commitment to your craft; writing a song every day and delivering flawless performances in any condition, from driving rain to agonizing pain.

You were my first writing instructor when I was 14 and still my most trusted advisor as I get back to my writing roots. I am eternally grateful.

If the people picking over your bones had any sense, they would turn Paisley Park into a School of prince guitarCreative Arts or at least offer a summer fellowship program for talented musicians.  You did say you always wanted to teach and you work with some of the finest musicians in the world so there’re plenty of teachersAnd honestly, wouldn’t that be better than having a bunch of strangers traipsing through your private home?

BTW, I love the thing with the will.  The Folks are trying to figure out how to ‘exploit’ your assets and create ‘profit centers’ regardless of what how you feel. They’re fighting over ‘rights’ and ‘royalties, ‘ but your music is a gift to the world.

They can say they ‘own’ it but, no one can own the Spirit.  

The world is purple in your honor today. I hope you make it to a few of the parties, especially in Minneapolis. I wish I were there tonight.

Prince side eyeI’m going to a Prince-themed Karaoke Night here in Memphis; it’ll just be regular folks singing your songs.  Try not to slay us all with your celestial side-eye when hit the wrong notes.  It’s all love.

be free


Basketball and Pancakes

Hey Y’all,

We lost Charlie Murphy today.  Leukemia. He left a legacy of unfettered humor, candid acting, and brilliant insight into real shit. His greatest gifts are the phrase “habitual line-stepper” and one of the best Prince stories on the planet.  Rest In Power Charlie.

But it is interesting that Prince transitioned on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57 and Charlie Murphy made his transition on April 12, 2017, at age 57.  More basketball and pancakes?  I certainly hope so.

be free


Spillit: When Prince was My Girlfriend

Hey Y’all,

Here is a link to the story, When Prince was My Girlfriend, I told at Spillit: Lost & Found on July 8, 2016, at Amurica. Spillit is a live storytelling event; kinda like The Moth, only Southern.

My story starts at the 18-minute mark. Prince has been so influential in my life that I took his constant presence for granted. His death hit me particularly hard.  I was rather nervous when I started, but it really gets interesting about age 14.

I’ll be telling another story at Spillit: Dear Diary on Thursday, April 27th at 7 p.m.  No, it won’t be about Prince. I hope to see you there.

be free.