David Bowie passed away a few days after his 69th birthday. I never knew much about him other than he wore lots of make up on stage and wrote and sang Space Odyssey, Heroes, Rebel Rebel, Changes, and Ziggy Stardust. I mostly knew the hits, never explored his albums. He also scared the shit out of me in Labyrinth, but I was 5 or 6 years old, ripe with fantasies about Santa Claus and Jesus. Later on I'd understand that Santa Claus doesn't like Mexicans and Jesus prefers we ask his mom for shit.
I have fond memories of playing the track "Heroes" over and over on a 5 hour road trip to Midland, borrowing my mom's brand new pick up truck for a supposed "camping trip" with friends, visited some girl I'd met at a leadership conference in California the week before. She was ugly. I didn't get what I needed, but drove back blasting that same song again. I could describe the beauty of the desert, the flora, the occotillo, the August sun burning my left forearm, but nothing felt better than getting my rocks off, blasting this song, not being in love, just being fucking 17, fucking alive.
Marc Maron, one of my favorite comedians, began his most recent pod-cast with a long, sincere, and heartfelt opening about Bowie. His voice rattled, a hum of pain, and then he hit me, he mentioned "Heroes", and I pictured him in the living room of his house, or what I assume is his house since I always picture him on the set of his show. I pictured him holding the cardboard album cover, "Heroes" playing as loud as possible on that four thousand dollar sound system from season 2. I had to stop the pod cast, found "Heroes" on Youtube, I hadn't heard it in years. I was right there with him, mourning. I was in the pick-up truck again, interstate 10, doing 70, 17 years old, fucking stupid, happy.
I hated high school, but this one fucking memory will always live.
Thank you, Marc Maron. Thank you, David Bowie