I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Loss of the Oddest Ones


I thought I was never one for the worshipping of deities. I was raised Catholic, but questioned it all from the start, and really pissed off the nuns with my questions. What I didn’t realize until yesterday was that this was a lie. Believing I had no religion, no gods or ceremonies or rituals, this was all false, only I hadn’t known it. When I got home Sunday night I was already in tears. Sunday nights are difficult for a myriad of reasons, but let’s just say facing yet another week of applying to jobs, endless rejection and loneliness is just a lot to handle emotionally, and things have not been looking up for me in the ways of prospects. I poured a glass of wine and hit up my prescription in short order. I sat down with my box of tissues and turned on the Golden Globes. I’d meant to record them but forgot and ended up tuning in just before that magical moment of Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt walking on stage. The awards show was alright I suppose, nothing terribly exciting for me. Right after the golden globes ended the local news began, I rarely tune in on purpose. I had gotten up to go to the restroom and had just returned to my little loveseat when the news hit me.

I wasn’t looking at the screen of my television so when they announced his passing I had a sort of delayed reaction. A sort of, “No, you didn’t just hear that, check and you’ll see it’s wrong.” I looked up and sure enough there was his image, “At the age of 69, legendary rock star David Bowie has died today from cancer.” The air was sucked from my lungs. I sat still and in complete shock. Fresh, hot tears poured from my eyes down my face. I didn’t feel anything in that moment. I couldn’t hear or see anything. It was as though a light had burst and wiped away the world for that moment. Finally, when the tears had begun to pool in my cleavage, I grabbed a tissue and wiped them away, blew my nose, took a large gulp of wine and just said quietly to myself and my puggo, “He knew.”

I’d been listening to his newly released album “Blackstar” since it was available on Spotify last week, almost constantly. He gave us such a gift, both with his newest music release, but more so with his mere existence. I don’t know a world without David Bowie and I refuse to live in one without him and so his music will always be in my heart and soul and I’ve been listening to his newer stuff more because, well, because.  He is someone I simply think about often, for strength, for hope, for security in myself for being weird. He was born a redhead with funny teeth, so we’ve always had that in common. Sunday morning, before he passed on, when I was in the shower listening to an 80’s mix I was thinking about his life, about all of the artists and musicians he’s known and lost, how he’s simply a human man and yet so much more than that. It didn’t seem odd to me at all to have these thoughts. Later that evening on the newest episode of The Simpson’s someone had a cat with two different colored eyes named “Bowie” and since I didn’t watch it until the next day it really spooked me. Coincidence?

The next morning I had a difficult time getting out of bed, everything just seemed so hard and pointless. I had to get up and start applying to jobs, though, just like everyday. I checked my emails and put on some music but I couldn’t hear it, like, it felt like my ears were buzzing. I went to facebook and someone has shared a link to the isolated vocal track from “Under Pressure” with just David and Freddie’s voices, no other instruments. I held my breath at first, then was simply lost in their beautiful voices. When the track finished I found myself holding back deep sobs, hands pressed together so tightly my fingers were the palest white and in that moment I knew.  I’ve had religion, gods, all along. My life has held a short string of them and I’ve lost each and every one.

I remember when John Lennon was killed. I’d never seen my father so heartbroken. I remember when Kurt Cobain died, I was getting ready to leave for work, I was just 16 years old, when Kurt Loder announced it on a breaking MTV News brief. I was in shock. I couldn’t breathe but I had to get to work. I remember driving my giant boat of a car down the tree lined street to my job but having to pull over twice to wipe away my tears. I remember when Michael Jackson died, it was right before I’d opened my cafe and I just couldn’t believe it. I stayed home and just sat in disbelief watching his funeral hoping against all hope in the world that somehow it couldn’t be true…he couldn’t be gone!

Music has been my religion since I was born. The rituals and ceremonies are shared and communal.  We share in them as a species and we infuse our culture with it. It seems the greatest gifts, the truest visions of a heaven, are always taken from us too soon. Guns, drugs and now cancer. We must find a way to continue and to learn from their wisdom. For me, there have been three gods: Jackson, Cobain and Bowie. Sure, I could easily include others but these three in particular feel so close to my heart that their passing feels personal. They are my gods, my religious icons and truly so much of my heart and so much of my life can be found in their music.

Kurt Cobain, The Patron Saint of the Misunderstood and Lost Causes

Michael Jackson, The Patron Saint of Abuse Survival and Whimsical Escapism

David Bowie, The Patron Saint of Outcasts, Artists and Weirdos

I don’t need frankincense and myrrh. I worship with red wine and weed and dancing out of rhythm to my own internal beat. I sacrifice my heart to them every day of my life. In moments of pain and joy, loss and connection, I turn to them and I find my kindreds. When I am feeling as dark and alone as I am today, and the past week or so, I have their chants and incantations to listen to and take into myself like communion. These three could not be more different musically, in their legacies and lifestyles and yet their twisted souls have touched so many and in similar ways.

When I was going through the hell that was my last job, I would play this video, and this song is an absolute masterpiece, on repeat while getting ready each morning in order to get the courage to face another day.

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