I woke up to sirens this morning. There was a three-alarm apartment fire at 17th and Guerrero -- as of this writing no one was hurt -- and the acrid smell seeped in through my window one block away. I followed the news reports of it as best I could. I was hoping that might be the most viscerally upsetting news I read today.
Then I learned that Prince was dead.
"F*ck 2016," is a general theme I'm seeing on Facebook and Twitter today, and I'd be lying if I said I disagreed. Beloved celebrities die every year, sure. But it does feel like we've lost a disproportionate number of musical heroes in the past few months. And Prince, regardless of your relationship to his music, was the best kind of hero -- the kind who, while performing on a different creative plane entirely from that of his contemporaries, appeared to be exerting an amount of effort that most people use in order to tie their shoes, or maybe chew gum and walk at the same time. He was insanely talented. This cannot be overstated.
He pushed himself constantly, yes, but he also seemed like he simply didn't know how to do anything else. He was compelling, flamboyant and endlessly watchable; he was fiercely private and painfully shy. His fridge was full of mustard and Dunkaroos. (That was probably an April Fool's joke, but we can dream.)