Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Proletariat Mourns the Death of Prince

Valet flashes a silver grin as the pair of sunglasses behind the wheel of the BMW hands him a buck. Caterers dash in and out of the service entrance wheeling plastic-wrapped carts of precooked meals for the Cancer benefit luncheon. A national sandwich chain is selling dollar sandwiches all afternoon, the line goes out the door and around the block, twisting all over the city. Off duty security guards, bus drivers, baristas, janitors, exterminators, customer service representatives all wait for their cheap subs, limit two per customer. The sky above is breathless blue and Prince died today, leaving the internet in a state of howling lament, it's all anyone is talking about, the smokers in the alleys behind the restaurants, the candy stripers and concierges, the window washers. The glittery husk drops away and an enormous purple butterfly emerges, its wings already tattered, its body gripped by some sort of gooey rot, it flaps heavily from its cocoon then collapses as we all keep saying the same thing over and over, how could this happen, how could he leave us so soon, how can we go on... the bike messenger flips over the handlebars, the meter maid puts tickets behind the windshield wipers on every car on the block, someone spills coffee all over the box of leftover crullers in the break room...a million eggs, shiny and violet, squirt from the underside of the dying butterfly but not one of them will hatch.

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