It was a brief, but short-lived, love affair. A chance encounter online then, finally, a hurriedly-arranged reunion on Australian soil. The few weeks of anticipation dragged as my impatience rose and my expectations fell. How could it be the same as the last time I’d seen him, back in London, so many years ago? I warned myself not to let my hopes get the better of me.
The night came at last. It was the first time I’d set eyes on him in over fifteen years, and he hadn’t changed a bit. To paraphrase Jerry Maguire, he had me from the first time he spoke.
Three hours flew by. I hung on his every word; his every gesture was magnified and memorised for later analysis. One night wasn’t enough and I was relieved I had made arrangements to see him the following night.
Next evening was a little more relaxed for both of us, a little more comfortable. I came away exhilarated by his presence, and spent the following days and evenings online, waiting for a word, a photo, a sign of his continued presence in my life. Every message was analysed, played back, saved. Over and over, I played the songs that reminded me of him wherever I went. My life became a soundtrack of him. I counted the days until I’d see him again, one last time before he left for home.
This time the anticipation was even more heightened. I fretted over what to wear, how early to turn up. In the end, I was almost late.
Those last few hours together were unforgettable. The first-night jitters were over for both of us and I knew a little more what to expect. Although we were in a crowded room, it felt at times the most intimate of encounters. His usually intense and serious face lit up a few precious times in a smile, and once or twice he even laughed aloud. It was perfect.
But, too fast, it was all over and I was home alone with nothing to look forward to but a few more hurried online exchanges. Then everything fell silent. I drove to work next morning, exhausted and strangely flat. The online presence slipped away as suddenly as it had appeared, and his presence in my life disappeared as quickly as it had reappeared after all those years. I was left with memories of his face, his voice, his charisma, and three concert ticket stubs.
Prince’s Australian tour was finally at an end.