Friday, March 5

Postcards to the Edge

I sent out a couple postcards upon request. When I donated to Postcrossing and became recognized as a supporting member, a lot of people suddenly contacted me to exchange cards or begin correspondence. I don't know whether this is because now I'm considered part of some elite cadre or just because the announcement of my status raised me to the community's consciousness.

A woman in Russia asked if I could please send her a postcard of a jazz/rock musician or an actor. I asked my wife to pick up some suitable cards from the downtown Barnes & Noble, as the B&N I went to in Edina doesn't carry postcards, apparently. She selected images of Bob Dylan and Prince, as they are representative of my city, Minneapolis, and I applauded her decision.

Dylan used to live in Dinkytown, the campus town outside the U of M campus. I saw the building where his apartment once was, but of course there are no longer apartments there. Minneapolis manifests some attention deficit disorder when it comes to buildings and businesses, you see, and someone may point out exceptions like such-and-such farm that was preserved, but the fact is this: if you lived here, went around town for a couple months, then hid in your apartment for a year, when you came back out you would barely recognize the city. Not only would the businesses you knew have changed hands, they would have done so three times.

Uh, anyway. I never met Bob Dylan. I know he's popular to emulate at karaoke, for some people. I think there's an album of his, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, whose cover photo features a familiar location.

Then there's Prince. When I was in the Army, a fellow soldier asked me if I ever met Prince, because he idolized him (pronouns here are intentionally ambiguous as Prince idolized himself). He explained how Prince taught himself 28 instruments, and this soldier endeavored to do the same but started out with the tambourine, which he would play, rhythmlessly, all night long, prompting him to take naps all the next day when he should've been working. As a punishment to me, my sergeants used to pair me up with him for chores. He sucked and I hated him.

But Prince is just a huge ego trip on wheels. I worked with a former hairdresser to his entourage and she confirmed he hated to pay his musicians. They would barge into his office, demanding their back pay from however long ago, and he would sulk and order his guards to throw the bum out. He had a club in Minneapolis, Glam Slam, which I never went to until it was sold and became Quest. The pillars in that place make it difficult to get a good view of the stage, but the bartenders were exceedingly professional. I never met Prince, either.

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