“A few days ago it was David Bowie’s Birthday and I opted out of posting something in celebration on social media. I tried, but couldn’t put in to words how much I celebrate his life and how grateful I am for his art and influence.
When you’re a little kid and you deal with darkness it’s hard to reconcile hope as a possibility. You’re small, insignificant, and any sadness or pain you might feel is dismissed as unrealistic because your lack of life experience can’t possibly manifest itself in any jadedness just yet. It’s lonely and we forget just how lonely it is: you don’t count. Maybe that’s why you’re early appreciations in art will stick with you forever.
When I was very little and sad there was none of this pulling myself up by my bootstraps business that I’m told to do now. One of the things we mourn as grownups is that childhood ability to not be culpable for your emotions. To let other people be responsible for your cheering up and eye drying. The tears themselves were no more than the fault of something external and easily remedied with a trip to Mum’s lap or the grocery store candy aisle. When you grow up (more or less) you’re expected to get up of your own volition. Go to work, or wherever else, and deal with it.
Because there are student loans to be paid off and drug dealers to employ.
You must buy the pizza or your partner will leave.
You must wash your hair or your colleague will complain.
On and on. Adults, or whatever large version of a baby we become, lament the days when we were not held responsible.
But not me.
Instead of looking in the mirror and telling myself I had to keep it together, I could look in the mirror and invoke an incantation sending away my fictional baby brother and transporting me to an underground maze with David Bowie at the center.
If I felt that I was powerless, I could simply take down a colossus wielding an axe with the help of my best friends.
When no one wanted to talk to me, I could be the girl the king fought for because of her mysterious and beautiful hair.
I miss being able to escape from reality and be the me version with the most cake.
In the meantime, on stage; a murderous wife, a magical fairy, a man.
In a graveyard he’d found me and dared me right away to turn back or follow.
I went with and found myself in world’s I hadn’t known existed, art, artists and the realism they dwelt in were suddenly open to me at a level I had yet to work to on my own. I fell in to the masquerade quickly, ignoring all signs of sabotage.
It wasn’t too long before I was abandoned for Iceland by this (actual) puppeteer who overshot his importance and my disappointment at being kept by an older seductive man had manifested, it wasn’t as fun as the film had made it seem. In fact it was awful. I was left owl-less and angry. Made to feel like a fool in a room full of staircases. What had I been thinking? I had been out of my depth since my eyes first lay on those knee high leather boots and whatever was above them, what had made me think it would be different now?
All they are, are salesmen with nothing of their own to spend.
Because Jareth’s final lesson was to teach me to turn him down and let him go.
He was not the immortal we had all hoped, but a man whose body could give up as easily as anyone else.
I thought that since I heard his alien soul sing to me that planet earth was blue, that he had been here before me and would be here long after.
An element. A filament.
The fact that I had to sit behind a computer screen and play my latest incarnation to a packed house, felt cruel. I had nothing to look forward to but memory. Memories of the standard I’d held all men and mirrors to since I was able to register what magic was. I wanted more, more examples of how to escape, more examples of how to work with dignity and individualism. More lyrics sang with the passionate crack of wanting. I wanted him as immortal in reality as he is in concept.
I wanted to tell him what he had meant to me.
And just like that; I heard his reply: