A Day Late, A Buddha of Suburbia Short: Farewell, Mr. Bowie

Where I was: Sitting at an improvised chair revising a chapter. It was 1:30 in the morning, prefaced with a text message of simplest nature: “Are you up?”


Nothing remains
We could run
when the rain slows
(–from Sunday)

On his birthday, David Bowie put out an absoultely smashingly excellent album, titled unpronounceably with a graphic but translateable as Blackstar. He celebrated his sixty-ninth birthday in festive fashion, we heard. I excitedly planned on getting that album in hard copy—struggle season be damned.
That was on Friday.

 

At 1:30 this morning I got a text.
“NO. FALSE. LIES. HOAX.”
The worst kind of hoax is when it isn’t one.
Everything has changed
For in truth, it’s the beginning of nothing
And nothing has changed
Everything has changed
(–from Sunday)

“…an 18-month battle with cancer,” I read first from the computer, then confirmed from a text.
It is also mere days from my mother’s birthday. Or would-be birthday. She’s been gone for exactly 20 years now. They would have been almost the same age. She would have been 63. She was a huge fan of his. And cancer cut her down, too. When I was just barely going on 8 she introduced me to the music by way of David Bowie’s Glittering AREA—in plain English, the movie Labyrinth. She woke me up at like three in the morning—round about now, really, because this was IMPORTANT NEWS: She’d figured out what the pretty elf boy from that game reminded her of and as luck would have it the movie was on RIGHT NOW FORGET THE STANDARDIZED TEST WEEK THIS IS IMPORTANT and by the end I was in love with the look and sound of him and yes I borrowed the Walkman and turntable and LPs a lot because it’s David Bowie I needed to hear him. The man’s as big a part of my life as Iwata’s been.
So the most I could manage after my “Life with David Bowie” flashed before my eyes was a two word text: “…fuck cancer…”


The last couple hours have been spent back and forthing with people about the impact the man has had on lives and style and culture and basically everything. And how fucking impossible this has been to believe. It’s been confirmed. This is no hoax. From Kanye West to Brian Eno, the condolences, tributes, and remembrances have been coming in. I dropped everything that I was doing to place the proper offertory (with only a minor hiccup when the blowtorch was nowhere to be found). I really don’t have enough words for just how much an effect he’s had on me.
As far as I can tell an immortal was called back from us, and as he says in a different song:
I’ve got seven days to live my life
or seven ways to die
(–from Seven)
Let’s see how far we can all stretch it out…after all, he’s shown us an infinity of things. Even if
Everything has changed
(–Sunday)

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