Erika Jane Recommends: “Thieves In The Temple” by Prince

*Some names were changed to hide their real identity.

Four years ago, Lewis, my schoolmate, joined a taekwondo session organized through his sister’s ballet company in Davao. I wanted to be part of it, too, but I just cannot ask my mother to join.

I’m a total copycat. Sometimes, when I know others joined any event that seem to help a lot for me, I easily push myself to get engaged. However, deep inside my head I know not all things end up good. Or maybe, I just seem to quit.

He was the only guy who could dance among my entire batch, and I had this sensation I was feeling deep inside. I tried to approach him but he usually brushed it off. So with the help of my best friend Vernie, I was able to befriend him.

Before I had to confirm that his involvement is not a joke, I was watching music videos of Prince in YouTube. His hit “Breakfast Can Wait” was my top favorite, coincident that there was this red lady kicking with her stilettos in the video.

Since then, every time Lewis gets into his taekwondo competition, Prince is always the playlist in my head. I keep repeating some of his songs like “Cream”, “1999”, “Free”, “Little Red Corvette”, and more.

In 2017, I was lucky to get one of his biography books titled after him in the bookshop, shortly before the management decided to change the establishment into an art shop just as calligraphy and lettering became a trend in the Philippines. After taking a glimpse on some pages of the book, there was one thing I learned about Prince: he was also a movie star. Can’t believe it? Me, too; I thought he was the first to do that.

The following year, when April came, the taekwondo trend came back. As school was about to end, my life was nothing but more of distortion as ever. I wanted to escape my fuss over Lewis and the rest of my batch mates, so I went over YouTube again and watched clips of Prince’s movies, like some from “Purple Rain”, “Under The Cherry Moon”, and “Graffiti Bridge”.

Then I had this idea of writing a book dedicated for him entitled All Time, Good Time together with the song “Thieves In The Temple”.

I could still remember the pictures of the music video coming in my head as I recall all my controversies for the last time around — how the static of emotional torture hit me and how senseless it is to have somebody who had nothing to do but play games. Lewis is smart; his gaming attitude just killed it.

Love come quick
Love come in a hurry
There are thieves in the temple tonight

They don’t care where they kick
Just as long as they hurt u
There are thieves in the temple tonight

Then, when I was out of my old school for my writing workshop that May, he invited me to join with the taekwondo team. Even so, it was too late; I already had a league of my own. Besides, what more could I get when I still have to pay the price of a thousand for the entire session? I shut it off. I said no.

Almost a year after, he finally got his black belt. I would have told him congratulations, but I guess it would become useless. Even being “friends” is no match to the turning point of my dramatic change in the aftermath of my distorted old life.

Well, I love looking at the lyrics rather than the music alone. For now, I just wanted to commemorate May with this, remembering all the lessons from the past, that I should not waste my time for all the nonsense stuff because I still have more work to be done.

Yup, Prince was right, though.

(Song recommendation by Erika Jane Roble)

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