One night Eunice and Cindy Lewis, her band mate went out for drinks at Lafayette’s Music Room on Madison. Any night could be a surprise jam session, with out of town musicians dropping in to show off their talents.
Cindy was from Wisconsin and had wanted something more than her small scale life. “Nina, you’re so pretty. I’d bet money you’re gonna hit the big time. You’ve got this special thing, that’s smart and also sexy,” she said.
“Oh gosh. Thanks Cindy. What do you want out of this town?” Eunice asked, changing the subject.
“I dunno. I had to get out of Nekoosa, so running from gramps was the reason. I like Memphis because every day starts fresh!” she said, sipping through a red straw. She was every guys wet dream; blond hair, a little girl voice and fake boobs.
Eunice discovered Cindy was the greatest gal pal, until there were men around. That’s when she’d turn into a needy coquette and drop you like a rock. The last time they hung out, two guys from Kansas City slid into a jam session with the locals and Cindy fell in love. By the end of jam, she had become a full blown groupie, leaving with him. It was fine as long as you knew that about her. Eunice wasn’t interested in being best friends anyway!
“Say, I got some coke in here somewhere. I swear I can never find anything in this purse. Oh here it is. Go into the can,” she said, handing her a small compact.
Eunice’s resolve had recently worn down with a lot of aimless socializing. Everyone was on high-end drugs in Memphis, so it’s perfectly normal. It’s not like they looked like the sick zombies from the Vineyard. She reasoned it out determining it was a good idea.
“Sure. Why not! Thanks Cindy. I might get a kick out of it!” Eunice said. She got up and went to the ladies room. She took a snort of cocaine already deciding, she wasn’t a drug type person. After mere seconds, her first thought was how her breathing and nasal passage felt all open and clear, as if she’d inhaled high altitude mountain air.
Returning to the table, Cindy excitedly said, “Eunice guess what? I’ve got VIP tickets for Purple Haze later!” by ‘later’ she meant the after party because the club only did private functions. “You’re coming. We’ll find that asshole Matthew and get your demo tapes!”
Eunice was all for fighting justice but less so when it came to her own personal art.
“Alright then. I best get myself back home for a beauty nap!” Eunice said, newly excited at possibly meeting record label executives. She would really dress the part.
“Honey, you won’t be napping. Enjoy the mania! I’m going home to reorganize my kitchen. See you at midnight,” Cindy said.
Cindy was right, Eunice was wide awake and felt the best she’d felt in a very long time.
Later that night, she met Cindy outside Purple Haze, a block south of Beale across from the famous Gibson Guitar factory. The afterhours club was VIP only, nearly impossible to get into since there were no tickets, only guest lists and referrals. When you gonna learn, it’s all about who you know.
Local celebs from TV and the usual Memphis, Nashville crowd. It also didn’t hurt that famous people remembered, Purple Haze was a club once owned by Joe Pesci. Rumors that LA types would be there because Prince was in town for a concert and was known for throwing intimate late night pop up shows.
Inside the hopping club she followed Cindy to the washrooms, passing beautiful people of all shapes and sizes. “Just one line Nina,” Cindy said, “we don’t want to get sloppy if Prince shows up do we?” Cindy took a few belts from her flask of liquor.
Eunice followed orders doing only one line. Moderation was the key to anything in life.
Time was irrelevant on the dance floor. All Eunice knew was Purple Haze was probably the best experience of her entire life. The coke and whatever else she had made her float divinely. She’d never felt so present but with zero sense of time. Nobody on the dance floor seemed to care about anything.
The DJ revved up the crowd with teasing announcements, “Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…” he sang the words like a circus emcee. The crowd roared anticipating he’d introduce Prince. “Morris Day and the Time!”
The crowd went mental anyway, since the Minneapolis sound was in the house. After the set the DJ spun records again.
Later Eunice’s absolute dream came true but she was too drunk and high to fully enjoy it. She was dancing near Alfonso Ribeiro, the guy from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. A song she didn’t recognize started playing but somehow she mouthed the lyrics to it anyway. She subliminally knew the words. It was oddly thrilling because the words were close to her journal entries.
Oh my God! Amazing!
The Purple Haze DJ was playing a song she wrote.
Prince will surely hear it.
Wait. How was it possible? She hadn’t seen hair nor hide of Matthew Roswell for six weeks. That song hadn’t even been completed. In fact she had only heard snippets of chorus vocals.
“But that’s my song?” she said. Eunice was enraged.
“Yeah, I love this song too,” Alfonso said, he’d gotten closer to her the more he danced.
“No! That’s a song I wrote! They stole my song!” Eunice shouted. She was pissed. That little asshole Matthew must have stole her song for drugs.
“HAHA! Surprise Nina!” Matthew Roswell appeared before her. He had rushed onto the dance floor, “I sold your song Nina! Your vocals were mixed out. It’s going to be huge! Country dance. Sort of a new genre I invented!” he was screaming in her ear and had foul breath. He must have been waiting to swoop down from his broomstick to gloat. DJ buddy had played it.
The night at Purple Haze marked the end of the road of Nina Wayman’s music career. All she wanted was to see Prince now. Where the fuck is Prince?