In January I had wanted to make a blog about my birthday. Im always super psyched for it and have maximum levels of fun on my b-day. We had planned to go to the Wildlife Park to see my favourite Deer friend and “adopt” him, and then have a pizza party for lunch, and then watch movies with pop & chips party dance all night. But I woke up in the morning of the 11th and David Bowie had died.
It hurt instantly like being shot with sadness right in the guts. A cold hand squeezing hard on my soft pulpy heart. It really felt like losing a good friend… or a crazy uncle I hardly saw but loved and would send me weird presents from exotic locales… or a 5th grandparent maybe. It felt close to home, and it hurt more than I thought it would. David Bowie was one of my peeps. He was my Original Weirdo. When I felt like an alien, I knew at least he was from the same planet. I felt so sad that morning for all the freaky weirdos who I knew loved him for the same reasons as me, because now we will be that much more lonely.
When other little girls were dressing up as princesses, I was taking my fashion cues from the Thin White Duke. I bet you can’t even tell who is who!?
One of my first memories is of being a baby Karalalala and sitting in the dark on my bedroom floor playing with a Fischer-Price casette player. Prized possession at the time, right up there with Squeeky Bear and my rock collection. Little red plastic microphone in hand, I was in the midst of recording an EPIC tale in flawless baby gibberish involving lava and monsters over top of one of my dad’s tapes. A young hobby of mine after my dad showed me how to do it.. I don’t think he realized he would soon lose many of his tapes to baby nonsense.
The tape was Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars and I remember pressing the wrong buttons and the song It Ain’t Easy came on. Suddenly, I imagined myself on top of a mountain, looking out over the sea. Thinking about the places perhaps, where a young man could be.. and what is a hoochie-koochie woman? And then Lady Stardust came on… and I couldn’t believe how much better that story was than mine. I stopped recording my crazy baby gibberish story and listened to the songs. And then my musical tastes broadened from Sharon Louis & Bram and Fred Penner to include this gorgeous glamrock space alien god. And then a few years later I saw The Labyrinth and had all kinds of confusing love and devotion to this androgynous King. I don’t think there was ever a period on my life where I got tired of listening to Bowie, or fell out of love with him. He always had something for me, no matter what colour my hair was or what music or books I was into or what my personality at the time was. He was all the flavours. It’s too bad some people can’t just earn immortality.
Anyway, it was violently stormy out when we set off towards the Wildlife park. By the time we got there, the wind was gusting 120km/hr and I could barely see the road in front of me to get to the main building. Not a good day for taking pictures of chubby raccoons and derp-faced deer. So we turned around. The only bright spot of the sad morning was because he had passed, the radio played nothing but Bowie. Even though it kept making my eyes puffy and wet, I couldn’t have asked for anything cooler than the radio to play nothing but back-to-back Bowie the whole day. As if I was controlling all radio stations. So I spent the morning of the 31st year weeping uncontrollably and driving through a hurricane to see a deer. You stupid old bastard, why did you have to go on my birthday??
A woman called in to the radio to say the weather around the Louisbourgh lighthouse was insane. Since we were about 20 minutes away with no plans now, we headed there. It was mind blowing. Huge green waves shook the ground as they arched forwards and crashed into the rocks. As we drove up, and the spray went clear over our car. I took some videos but you cant really appreciate the scale of it all in such a small video. We sat and listened to the radio and watched the weather. I kept thinking, here in the car we are dry and safe and 5 feet ahead of us, we would be dead, violently crunched against the rocks. I started to feel better.
That he was born and died around my birthday makes me feel like he’s connected to it in a way, like I get to keep him, a bit. It was a strange, but kind of wonderful birthday in all its wild and sad ways.
To end on a lighter note, here is a picture of my sweet ass shit kickers. My birthday boots!! Shiny pink patent leather and red plaid laces, just like I dreamed of. They are perfect. Bowie approved, I like to imagine.