This is going to be one of the most self-indulgent things I’ve ever written and I don’t even care.

There are some artists who, when they leave us, make you feel like you lost a friend. David Bowie wasn’t quite that for me. He was always too ethereal, too otherworldly, to ever be a friend. He was more like a mentor or a spirit guide. If you were a weird lonely androgynous kid growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, David Bowie was there to tell you that it was ok, that you didn’t need to know if you were a boy or a girl, that if you just embraced your oddness, you would find within you a beautiful, ever-shifting core.

I’ve been listening to his latest record, Blackstar, off and on all weekend in that idle way you do when you want to hear a new record but don’t have the time to fully devote to listening to it properly. I didn’t know that I was listening to Bowie’s own gorgeous requiem for himself. I didn’t know that he was saying farewell, yet he was telling us he’d always be with us. I didn’t know.

I should have known somehow.

Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
Everybody knows me now

Look up here, man, I’m in danger
I’ve got nothing left to lose
I’m so high, it makes my brain whirl
Dropped my cell phone down below
Ain’t that just like me?

By the time I got to New York
I was living like a king
Then I used up all my money
I was looking for your ass

This way or no way
You know I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Now, ain’t that just like me?

Oh, I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Oh, I’ll be free
Ain’t that just like me?

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