I remember my father going to bed whenever one of his friends became ill or died. What a terrible thing, to come face to face with finality. Mortality. Death. Oftentimes I find myself seeking the solace of my bed when someone dies.
This has been a hard year for me because of death. While my two best friends passed on years back now, it is the death of those who I never knew that is beating down on me. Now I cry, not because I was a groupie fan, but because with each death, a part of me dies.
It hasn’t been quite a year, but let’s just say I’m acknowledging the anniversary of the death of David Bowie. There’s been a lot percolating in my brain over the past few months. I’ve been dredging up memories because I want to know why I’m the way I am. There is no fault here, but I have to understand how the life of this person became so entangled within my own life that each time something of him is brought into focus I break down in tears.
Somewhere around the 5th grade, my family moved to a new house. It was across the street from a pasture filled with horses. I loved horses. I wanted nothing more than to ride across the countryside, the horse’s mane, along with my hair, flying in the wind. My parents said no. I tried to deal with this the best that I could. The neighborhood families kept their horses in this pasture. I spent a lot of time there and that’s when I met The Man.
What shall I call him? Pedophile? Disgusting? Evil? All of these and more. He saw a girl unsure of herself who wanted to have a horse more than anything. So he set out on a pretense of making that wish come true. It was always right there, just out of sight. What he did was damaging, but what was done in the name of right and justice was what really damaged me irreversibly, because in the end, when it all came to light, no one held me. No one told me it was okay, it wasn’t my fault. All I heard were whispered variations on what would the neighbors think, and nothing ever came of this event that I know of. And so, a little piece of my soul was shattered, and I didn’t know how to put it back together.
It was a summer of David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman with a little mix of America, Neil Young and other up and coming pop/rock am radio tunes. It was okay, but it quickly became something to identify with fear, loneliness and alienation.
It was at this point that David Bowie stepped in. Space Oddity was on the radio, a surprising enough thing in my little East Texas country and western hometown. But the times they were a-changing, and I purchased Space Oddity and began a new road.
I loved that album. It was so different from anything I had heard before. It was art, it was music. It was intricacies that spoke on a subconscious level, and it slowly began to heal the breaks in my heart. Was it a good healing? The adult me says no, but how can I imagine anything else at this point in my life? It consumed me and made me feel as if life was worth living again. It got me up every morning. It kept me going. And of course I wanted more.
There was a show called the Midnight Special, and Bowie was the guest star of on particular week’s show. I was delighted to see that the Tonight Show, airing just before the Midnight Special, would include Bowie’s wife Angie as the main guest.
I was set.
more to come…