I had this image as a door-length poster in my teenage bedroom.

This man and his music were synonymous with sexy to me as a pubescent pre-adolescent girl. I wouldn’t be able to conjure up another image of what that word could possibly mean for YEARS and YEARS. Sexy was TINY. Sexy was MUSICAL. Sexy had big doe eyes and a curl that fell down over the forehead. Sexy was caramel cocoa skin. Sexy was MISUNDERSTOOD. Sexy came from a bad home. Sexy was creative. Sexy was genius. Sexy had high heels as a man, when only women wore high heels, and was still masculine as hell. Sexy could even wear eyeliner. Sexy wore COSTUMES. Sexy oozed with LONGING and controlled desperation. When sexy got too much, it danced. Sexy was silent. Sexy was shy. Sexy stormed out of rooms. Sexy stared silently from the opposite wall. Sexy cried but had its pride. Sexy was a cloud passing over but also the sun bursting through. Sexy was enigmatic. Sexy eventually relented. Sexy won out every time. Sexy was love. LoveSexy.

I thought, ‘If only I could marry Prince and ride like Apollonia on that motorcycle’ my life would be complete. Stupid math quizzes and chores were getting in the way of REAL life! With PRINCE! But how to get from St Stephens Episcopal Day School in Miami to Minnesota??! That’s why I loved the eighties movie Fire with Fire. It was a vision of how I could run away with Prince if I ever got a chance to meet (and dazzle) him (never mind the 14 year age difference which would make him a pretty serious pedophile ).

I was 5th row center at the Purple Rain concert and it was heaven. In my 20s we made eye contact at a nightclub on Miami Beach, locked together by the protective arms of his bodyguards — and I froze.

Childhood crushes die hard but I have to acknowledge that is not quite my vision of happiness now — to be slapped by a macho guy under a bridge, no matter how stunning, talented, and mysterious, no matter the DANCING — but I loved that tiny genius and there are zero like him. Just Saturday I was walking around Charleston and remarked that I figured Prince would’ve died young and in his prime. Less than a week later, sexy still lives on but the guy who invented it has moved on to LoveSexy heaven where he’ll reign forever from his purple throne.

Creative writer and strategist / storyteller for brands. VP of Marketing at tech company. You can find me at www.chaunceyzalkin.com and www.slcontentstudio.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store