1989 And Beyond

When I was 15 my favorite song became Ch… ch… ch… changes. It was not me that discovered David Bowie. It was my friend. But I fell for the song and then the singer and then the writer. I loved David Bowie songs. When I was 18 I remember slowing down my drive home whenever the song “Oh! You pretty things.” came on the cassette I was playing. I sometimes parked in front of the house till that song was finished.

I remembered crying to “Life on Mars”.

Two years ago when I talked about all my role models being gone, that was true. David Bowie was never a real, true role model. I never wanted to be like him. Being shrill and noticed and bright… I did and still do not sparkle. However, his death hit me hard. Showing me my own mortality. I immediately wanted to write and honor him the day he died. And then… I could not find word. No clever saying on Facebook, no blog post… I lost words. Today, I think I found something in me… so here it goes. 

The first time I saw David Bowie was in 2003. I was nearly double the age of when I first noticed his songs. I went to a concert. In Detroit. It was awesome. Like a long lost dream finally caught. And I only remember a few things… the way the people in front of me dressed like Bowie in the 80s. The way I was impressed by stupid stories and simply what I thought was authenticity. Why David Bowie liked standing with his leg stretched to the back… Because he once saw someone doing it with a broken leg and he thought it looked so cool.
That is how I personally built a lot of my habits… I saw someone doing something, it looked cool, so I have been doing it ever since…

How does it feel when your role models or the people that influenced you are gone. It feels very empty — for a neverending short moment that eventually does just that — it ends. I found new people I admire. A slightly different direction: Alice Scharzer, Gloria Steinem, Emma Watson, Elon Musk…  However, it is odd when you settled with a comfortable set of characters to chase and those people all over sudden are no longer sharing the Earth with you.

David Bowie’s death reminded me of me when I was young. How much I liked his music and how much I was different than him. And yet, we are so alike.

Throughout my life I discovered I was different and distinguishable from anybody else. My name is absolutely unique, there is only one with my name on this planet. I can say this with certainty. I am an atheist. I am a German married to a Jew. I studied on three different continents and received a degree from each. I have worked and lived on four different continents. I feel and live in two languages simultaneously. I can love people of each gender. I switched classes from “working poor” to “upper class”. I grew up on welfare and now earn six figures. I grew up in an second generation abusive family and escaped. I am a story.

The truth is out there.

All you need is courage to explore.

And to honor your childhood heroes.

Thanks, David, you do not know me…,but you influenced me and my life. And I turned out positive.


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