"David Bowie died last night"
"Are you kidding me?" I said in disbelief.
"No, he died from cancer," He came back and squeezed my arm as I hid under the covers declaring how depressed I was.
January was never a kind month to me. And being as January 10th was already a very terrible day for me owing to it being the day my grandmother had died when I was just turning 17- I now would attribute the 10th of January as the most hateful day, eclipsing even my birthday which has darkened in my life long ago.
David Bowie, for me goes beyond just a singer I love- because as David Bowie himself said, he doesn't even sing very well. My earliest memories are filled with David Bowie. I remember the day my sister Winter got the movie Labyrinth on VHS (which considering the movie came out in theaters the year I was born does show how very young I was at the time). I remember that first viewing of that movie. The opening scene of Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) running through the rain to David Bowie singing Underground resinated throughout my childhood.
My oldest sisters were products of the 80s. My childhood was filled with 80s music but there seemed a special attention to David Bowie in my early education of music. Or perhaps, he resonated so completely with my soul that it was just that he stood out more than the others.
Growing up, it was impossible to have a sleepover at my house without my wanting to watch Labyrinth. As a teenager, it was impossible for me to get along with anyone who had never heard of David Bowie. In college I was surrounded by creatives who, fortunately for me, all understood the appeal that was Bowie. In my early 20s I felt my age decaying as I sat at my desk, surrounded by 18 year olds as I read the paper and announced that David Bowie would be playing Lord Royal Highness in SpongeBop and all of them asked me in unison "Who is David Bowie?" I promptly put in a mixed CD I had made of his music only to discover the only song that they recognized was Changes, and only because there was a cover of it on the Shrek 2 soundtrack!
David Bowie's music has played an important role in the soundtrack of my life. So much so that Let's Dance has made the short list of songs I want played at my funeral. People think I'm joking when I say it- if only the knew how utterly serious I am on the matter. Even now, David Bowie is on my phone case, snuggly keeping my old iPhone 5S securely projected from the hard knocks in life- and I didn't just put him on there. He's been my phone case for over a year now.
I've spent time hunting rare albums that are difficult to find. I've dug through internet auction sites to get ahold of his autograph and he was my "free pass" celebrity crush.
To be a fan of David Bowie, a true fan- it took more than just appreciating music, because the truth is David Bowie wasn't a musician in the usual sense. He was a muse to many. Everyone from Madonna, to Lady Gaga to Jay Z took influence from his music, his persona, his unique ability to transition from one character's skin to the next. Of course some of my favorite bands have taken influence from Bowie. Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Moby, Marilyn Manson, Placebo, The Cure, Joy Division, Nirvana to name a few.
The death of a star we are witnessing. It's miraculous really- like the death of any star you can see it's light burning brighter lightyears away. For millennia after it has subdued into darkness you can see it's burning light. David Bowie was such a star who so deeply affected millions it will be impossible to not see his resiliency for decades to come. David Bowie, in his final gift to the world, set out his own farewell so beautifully as to capture perhaps the serenity and the chaos that surrounds one in death.
God speed The Man Who Sold the World, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Pierrot, Goblin King, The Regular Dude, The Outsider, The Elder Statesman, Meta-Bowie, David Bowie, David Robert Jones.