Church Camp

We meet in the church parking lot and stuff our ratty sleeping bags into the back of a rickety school bus.  No one checks our bags.  The bus zips out highway 55, making a brief stop in Plymouth to pick up a few stray kids.

We’ll stay in the East cabin, two campers per room, girls on the near side, boys on the far.  The bus-ride is spent in intense roommate negotiation.  After Annandale, we turn left onto a dusty road.  If it’s late enough in the season, the smell of quintessential Minnesota prairie wafts through the open windows.

It’s 1984.  Most of us are 15.  I am not.

We’re crowded into one of the sleeping rooms, all of the girls.  Someone brought a tape player.  Someone else brought the tape: Purple Rain.

We listen over and over: Let’s Go Crazy, Take Me With U, The Beautiful Ones, Computer Blue, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, I Would Die 4 U, Baby I’m a Star, Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy, Take Me With U, The Beautiful Ones, Computer Blue, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, I Would Die 4 U, Baby I’m a Star, Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy, Take Me With U, The Beautiful Ones, Computer Blue, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, I Would Die 4 U, Baby I’m a Star, Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy, Take Me With U, The Beautiful Ones, Computer Blue, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, I Would Die 4 U, Baby I’m a Star, Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy, Take Me With U, The Beautiful Ones, Computer Blue, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, I Would Die 4 U, Baby I’m a Star, Purple Rain.

Standing on the beds in single-gendered abandonment, young bodies twisting, virginal brains open to our Prince.  Teach us.  Take us.

The moment shines in my memory.  No beginning, no end.  Only youth.

 

Musical Moment

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