weekending [My Date with David Bowie]

This weekend found me on an early morning run with mama pals,
with a sherbet sky and a clear view all the way to Mt Rainier,
making the mountain look less like a volcano on picture’s far right

more like a sunrise lighthouse, beacon at 6:55 AM
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This weekend found me
playing Barbies until noon, 
eating popcorn, watching Akeelah and the Bee with the big girls
my girlies really like words, really loved the movie.  
It pales in comparison to the party I threw myself on Friday night
while daddy took the girls to the Father-Daughter-Daughter-Daughter Dance.  
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I wrote this at six o’clock, really a time I never write.  
And in the spirit of the rare night alone, the early write time
I’m posting without edits; I’m posting pure stream of consciousness.
I never do this……………
{straight from my writer’s notebook}
My guess is that if you’ve never listed The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie as the album you’d bring to a desert island, you’ve never sat in a dark car, parked at a dead end street with the windows rolled down, feet on the dash, speakers at loud static with your thumbs drumming on the wheel while your best childhood friends in the backseat share your belief that you all are the misunderstood misfits Ziggy raises a songed salute to. 
I credit my poetic career to my high school freshman two-month-long grounding.  My record player was confiscated, but luckily I’d scored over the summer a cassette of Rise and Fall with the lyrics printed on the tiny tape jacket.  Confinement, isolation and an against-the-suburban grain attitude set Bic ink to an all time test during that long Fall. 
Jerry Garcia was my first crush, but I was Ziggy, or so I thought.  Neil Young will forever remain my first love. And to those who ask about Dylan, my answer will always be, “Of course.”
And the best date I ever took myself happens right now.  
It’s six o’clock.  I start the album, and realize I’ve waited five years for Luke to take all our girls from the house to the Father-Daughter dance.  Funny, since Five Years is playing.  I’ve choreographed this evening for years and the steps are moving perfectly.   
I unfold the cardboard carton (Styrofoam containers are banned in our county), and I smile at 6-star spicy green curry, extra bamboo shoots (Luke thinks they taste like Band-Aids), tofu and chicken, green beans, and red bell peppers synchronize in the coconut milk pool.  It’s just as I like it, and I am not sharing with anyone.  I have a Pepsi, something I never drink in front of my babes.  My slippered feet are even resting on the chair beside me. 
The music is loud, 57 in the dial that goes up to 58.  No one is telling me to turn it down.  The last time music played at my level, with an artist stuck on repeat without complaint was during our home birth.  Laboring mamas get each wish granted, don’t you know.
Five days ago I spent the $5.87 for a magazine I hid in a drawer right after its purchase.  At my local bookstore, the same bookstore I met the author of Poser, I notice David Bowie is on the cover of Rolling Stone and it’s a long article in small font.  Every other page talks of bands and songs I’ve heard of, while I am lost in an interview with Flea:

When I was 15, I had these goofy clothes on that my mom bought me at Sears, and I said to Anthony Kiedis, “Do I look cool?”  He said, “Yeah – but anyone could wear that.  You’re a unique person.  You should wear shit that feels like something that only you would wear.” It might sound small, but that moment formed me as a musician.  I needed to do what felt beautiful to me.  

Suddenly, my mind drifts and I’m like Flea at thirteen and my best friend Kate is talking just like Anthony Keidis.  We’re sifting through vintage Levi cords, old Pendelton flannel shirts and worn travel t-shirts with distant states written in puffy letters, some with seagulls painted across a sunset before it gets cool.  My other best friend, Me, is convincing me in the Salvation Army Thrift where the homeless guy all but licks my hoodie that I should absolutely buy the two seventies dresses and sew them to make a long, twirly skirt sewn on the bias.  It’s amazing we got out of there alive as many times as we went to that part of Springfield under the overpass.  We acted like silly suburban white girls trying to pretend we were from a distant, heavily wooded land.
I guess this is what the journalists always mean when they say bands get older while you stay the same age, and how songs and their stories really bring you back.
It seems in the dying age of print media, Rolling Stone has found its way back to this musically-obsessed and impressionable thirty-something that pretty much stopped regular reading once Jerry Garcia graced the cover (yup, still have that issue). 
If so many things the magic 8 ball said would happen actually did, we’d be in Seattle a whole lot more with our indispensable concert fund, soaking up new bands in hip, hideaway halls. 
Oh, what fun.  
Right now, I’m reading with the Spiders from Mars playing in this empty house so loud, so beautiful, 

We were giving permission to ourselves to reinvent culture the way we wanted it.  With really great big shoes. David Bowie

Right now, the girlies are twirling in tights and glitter.  Luke’s wearing a wool fedora, standing in smoke machine’s stream and dancing to Ricky Martin like a two year old, at least just like the two year old he’s dancing with.  He’s got one move, all Wide Spread Panic shimmy with a right leg kick.  If you’ve had the pleasure of going to a concert with him, then you know exactly what  I’m talking about. 
I turn to page 42 and just as I begin reading about Moonage Daydream, it comes on the stereo.  Mikal Gilmore writes about Bowie with such depth, I’m certain enough to bet my vinyl collection on it that it’s intentional.  He’s written this fine article and I can just tell he’s a Bowie fan.  I Google Gilmore, and become convinced I saw him at Powell’s Books when I attended Graduate School in Portland, OR. 
When I was sixteen I was given a cherry-apple acoustic electric guitar.  For years and years all I played was Neil and Bowie.  Even now, after about fifteen minutes fumbling around on dusty strings my fingers find their way to old favorites. 
Right now: alone in this house, album playing loud and close it’s feeling as good as it gets for time alone, feeling it’s the perfect date with a self.
This is as good as heels on the bumper, seated on the trunk of a borrowed car parked beside the mythically toxic Connecticut River of my youth.  Yes, I remember one particular teenage night I listened to this album in its entirety.  
Hometown friends all heard of the one kid who swam in the river one hot, humid New England day with a cut only to spend the rest of the summer with a blood infection.  I’m friends with the rumoree on Facebook, so maybe I should write on his wall to put this rumor to bed after all these years.  Anyway, back to the memory of youth, where friends stand and taunt and shimmy beside corn stalks and train tracks while this album plays in car’s cassette player. 
In many ways, I think back to that one night as possibly the last time I sat still in one spot and listened to this album without doing anything else from start to finish.  I even leaned back on the car and looked up at a smoggy evening sky as someone else ejected tape one, placed tape two into the player.  It was simple then, all that leaning back and listening to albums from end to end.  Now music fills my activities, soundtracks my day.  It no longer is what I’m doing.  It makes me wish for an office with a record player, large vintage writer’s desk with lots of paper, an old metal stool, indirect lightening and soundproof walls for prolific poetry/prose-induced dates like these. 
This is the best date I’ve ever taken myself on.  In a few minutes the fabulously dressed will bound through the door.  I’ll smell their corsages, gaze at their photo taken under the pink balloon arch and swell with pride as the girls reenact Luke’s dance moves. 
I love him so, this guy to break the island rules for most daughters brought to the daddy dance.  I was informed of this title while I bought the ticket that read Father-Daughter-Daughter-Daughter Dance. 
I love him so, so far thirteen years, even though he claims to detest Bowie.  I know, I can’t imagine.
But he loves Chuck Norris and Willie Nelson equally, too.
Some things in life just are the way they are, and there’s so much beauty in the opposites.
:::
joining Amanda

9 Comments

  • Tracey says:

    I love date night with myself and now that my children are older I have a lot more of them [husband working out of town a lot]. I am a Rolling Stones girl myself and when I'm home alone I walk around singing at the top of my lungs [and no one tells me to hush!] I love the photo of all of your family before the dance, your girls are just adorable!

  • Swanski says:

    The older I get, the more I appreciate my alone time. The kids are gone and I miss them but there is more time for exploration of hobbies unknown to me! (my husband is a Bowie fan!)

  • This post read with my morning cup of coffee just made for one big smile, and now I am ready to start my day.

  • I love this! So wonderfully written and brings back many memories of my younger days!

  • alone time is so precious and so rare. glad you indulged 🙂 and the writing…love, thanks for sharing!

  • Charlotte says:

    What a cute post, it sounds like you had fun with the Barbies.. and your little family picture is so adorable.

    this quote: “Yeah – but anyone could wear that. You’re a unique person. You should wear shit that feels like something that only you would wear.”

    made me smile – more people should think like this! x

  • well, I never was a David Bowie or Hot Chili Pepper fan but I sure did like reading this inspired entry! Wonderful! What a fun mama you are. YOur kids are blessed.
    XO

  • Beautifully written…so fun to read!

    Thank you also for stopping by my place – I appreciate your kind words.
    (Btw – if you ever have any questions or just want to talk..don't hestitate to contact me)I would have done anything to talk to someone in the same boat.
    Have a great weekend.

  • MJ says:

    awesome post my friend. 5years!!! That's far too long to wait for a just mama date!!! I hope it won't be too long for you until the next.

    Your nostalgia and memories take me back to the same music inspired nights in the back of my best friend's red cabriolet, except we were listening to the Cure, the Sundays, Morrissey, Depeche Mode and New Order, and then there was U2, that band held a large space all their own in my head…
    There is no mistake that music makes our memories sing like mockingbirds, playing old tunes that we remember like yesterday. How funny that the words come so smoothly, permanently etched into the folds of our brains.

    Thanks for the trip my friend, I am swimming in joy at the moment, with coldplay in the background :).
    xo

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