That was one, favored author’s reaction on Monday and it’s been with me ever since. Really, it sums up my feelings exactly.
David Bowie was known for being many things – an alien, a duke, a vampire, a goblin king, Nikola Tesla, a rock god named Ziggy. But I don’t think the description of mere, mortal human had ever occurred to any of us. Those words seem as alien when associated with him as…well, as he was.
While talking to one friend on Monday, they said, “they broke the mold with him.” My answer? He never fit into any mold.
Bowie was ageless, moving with the times as seamlessly as if he had been reincarnated with each new decade. His transitions from one musical style to another, one persona to the next, were legendary.
Everything about him seemed to shimmer as he shifted between worlds, between genders, and between sexualities. He led by example and made it okay for the rest of us to be our freakish selves, to be outside, merely by existing first. He didn’t need slogans or promises that anything would get better. He just showed us how it was done, boldly, fearlessly, and unapologetically.
Sure there were those who came before him who paved the way for him to come into being, just as he will, and has, inspired others to keep pushing for even more acceptance. But for so many of my generation, he was the one we turned to. He was the most accessible. I can almost guaranty I knew his name long before I knew his music or that smooth, seductive, beautiful voice.
There are people who leave a void in this world and our hearts whether we ever met or interacted with them or not. When Robin Williams died, I went around for a good couple of weeks convinced that the world was less funny as a result.
Now there is a similar emptiness. Although Bowie’s last album came out just days before his death, it is incomprehensible to know there are no more transformations to look forward to. What will he do next?
Only the stars know for sure.