So. David Bowie.
I didn’t believe it for about an hour after my boyfriend told me, half awake and staggering towards the shower, and now all I can think is, this isn’t right, it’s not supposed to be this way. We’re not meant to live in a world without David Bowie (Yes I know we managed perfectly well for many centuries but dammit.) I don’t get how this happened. He’s supposed to be here floating around with that little smile of his, showing us all how to be serene in our differences. We’re … I don’t know. He didn’t die, he just changed incarnations. This one happens to be the first one not on this earth.
I don’t get it. I disbelieve. I spent the first hour of the morning disbelieving and then the second hour a sobbing mess on the couch instead of doing my morning routines. Really, it’s amazing I got dressed and got something for lunch and got out of the house at all, at this point. I’m kind of amused and touched and comforted to see so many people also going wait, David Bowie’s dead? he can’t die. he’s not mortal like the rest of us. Someone on Twitter had a good quote:
I still feel like I would if someone had told me Mount Everest had died. "Well that's stupid, that's not how mountains work".
— It's Only Forever (@EwaSR) January 11, 2016
And that’s exactly how I feel. I’m not yet used to a world without David Bowie actively in it, and I don’t know if I ever will be. Hell, I’m not yet used to a world without Christopher Lee or Leonard Nimoy actively in it. I was watching Stargate last night and realized how much I missed Don Davis. I’m still not sure how Robin Williams is gone.
There are these people, and they are so influential in so many people’s lives, their presence is so big that they’re everywhere. And then they leave us, and we’re all left staggering. As a global collective, we reel and wonder, where do we look to now? Here was a giant part of our lives, now gone, what do we do? How do we keep moving after we’ve been gutted like that?
Well, but he’s still here, isn’t he. We still have all these hours of video, all this music. We have the moment we saw him on stage and couldn’t believe anyone would do that, could get away with that. We have the moment we saw him on screen and didn’t entirely believe he was real. We still have Jareth and Nikola Tesla and Thomas Jerome Newton and the walk-off from Zoolander. We still have this.
I’ve been doing a lot of looking back this morning and boggling at just how much of my writing is influenced by him. (And mostly Labyrinth, to be fair, me and at least a third to half of the girls in the English speaking world around that time wanted the Goblin King to come and take them away.) The entire Sorcerer, Sam, the mysterious gentleman of manners and deep, deep issues who was so very bad for you and yet kind in some peculiar way, who touched you in the core of you and made things all right again and who could break you just as easily, that was all Bowie. And I don’t know how to deal with the real-world person being gone, it feels like all that stuff that he inspired in my head should be gone too even if it isn’t. And it isn’t. See above.
I think, from what I know of him (he was not that cruel in the last decades of his life and I don’t think he ever really meant to be although let’s face it, he had issues for a while), that he’d remind me that what’s in my head isn’t gone. That he’d like to remind us, this is still here. How we felt, how we responded, what we made of ourselves. What I built with his words, his music and his image, that’s not gone. And that’s how people live on, isn’t it? They live on because we remember them and carry them with us, so there’s his immortality.
So I’m going to close my eyes, and I’m going to sit down and have a talk with the Bowie in my head who maybe looks more like the Thin White Duke right now, but give it an hour I’m sure that’ll change. What’s the point of having your own head-Bowie if he doesn’t go through whimsical and yet carefully thought out transformations? And we’re going to have a good cry. Tonight I’m going to eat my feelings, they taste like buttercream frosted sugar cookies. And then, when we’ve had our cry and gotten the most of that out, we’re going to pick up and keep on being weird and bizarre and alien, keep on being proud and confident and defiant, keep on being a rebel. Keep on being a hero.
We love you, David. We always will.