Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Really Quite Out of Sight...

Somehow, today I managed to get 10.5 miles in, mostly running, without too much effort getting out the door or keeping my legs in a running pattern, even on the slick streets and sidewalks with sheets of ice and slush puddles.

The days don't have enough hours in them to allow me to get everything done now, but I'm productive nonetheless. Seems like I only have half my work done and my workout, and I'm looking at a day going down in a blaze, like this sunset the other night.
I love nighttime, but it's been so cold and my workdays are so long that by sunset I am ready to wrap it up for the day. Before I climb into bed these days I usually watch things on my iPad, just mindless day-old comedy stuff like the Tonight Show, Daily Show, Larry Wilmore, and so on. And the other night I happened to see a clip of Jimmy Fallon promoting David Bowie's new album and I thought it was strange that he wasn't a guest on the show. And then the thought disappeared.

The next day I saw all these posts on Facebook, RIP David Bowie, etc.

I am not big on popular entertainment culture though I do pay some attention. I haven't been listening to music much because my iPod died last spring and I haven't been running long enough runs to warrant replacing it. But one of my favorite artists has always been David Bowie, and the rise & fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars has a designated spot on every music playing device I own. It's perfect middle of the night ultra music.

But David Bowie has a special meaning in my life beyond his dramatic and creative performances. When I was fourteen years old and still living in Philadelphia, my very first concert was David Bowie.

And it was spellbinding and spectacular in a way that only a 14 year old can perceive it, but I can remember it vividly nearly 40 years later. I remember going with my friend, we took the train to downtown Philadelphia and went to the concert, feeling so independent and grown up. I remember the stage, the lights, the smoke and haze, and the outrageous costumes he wore, so energetic, jumping around, and the way his voice projected. His gender-bending persona was ahead of its time in many ways, and I was grateful for it.

As a teenager I had a difficult time with my own self-concept and figuring out what was an acceptable way to dress and appear in public. Where I went to junior high, it was an affluent community of many spoiled upper-middle class brats, and Mean Girls was hatched in a similar environment. I was not a girly-girl and I didn't "get" fashion, and I didn't dress to look feminine or to impress. Jeans and t-shirts, no makeup, no hairstyle, just long, stringy thick hair, were my thing.

I hung out with a group of similarly outcast girls, and we were not boy-crazy. So we didn't fit in. And David Bowie showed me that it was okay to be offbeat and not tied to gender expectations. At 14, that was a powerful revelation, at least it was for me. And living through childhood with a mom who was all too happy to enforce her gender requirements on my style of dress and activity, it was pure validation.

Anyway,that's my David Bowie story. It makes me want to go get that new ipod today, fill it with my music, get out under the stardust and dance my way through a night run!

So the next time it looks like this outside, I hope to be headed out the door for a while. RIP David Bowie. Thanks for the inspiration.


Rachel Gantenbein said...

Love this!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Rachel!

Carla said...

I never considered us outcasts, I just considered them mean girls. And sadly middle age hasn't changed that in most of them. The comments about your mother are a generational thing I think because as you know mine was and is very similar. Mine is still like that, utterly obsessed with the superficial, an outfit, someone's weight. I remember when you went to that concert because you were the first of my friends that actually went to a concert like a grown-up on their own – I was never allowed to do that until I got out of high school LOL

In those tumultuous years of adolescents I remember being really sad when you moved, and so happy a few years ago when we reconnected.

And incidentally your hair was always gorgeous I don't know why you never saw that.

Love ya

Alene Gone Bad said...

Carla, I'm so glad we reconnected. Reaching out across miles and time to give you giant hugs.... Love, Alene