Ask me the question, “What was your sister like?” I would have to answer, “She loved David Bowie”. That’s not the whole story, but it is surely a piece of it.
I try to keep things on this site tightly focused on solving her murder. But it doesn’t feel right to not acknowledge the passing of David Bowie, and Theresa’s deep appreciation for his artistry.
I think this has less to do with Theresa. She would probably be baffled why I’d spend time on it. There were many things that made up her personality, and there would have been many more interesting things that would have occupied her mind other than David Bowie, had she had the chance to live beyond 19-years.
It is because she was 19 that I dwell on it. I have so little left to connect us. The one thing I do have is David Bowie’s music, his lyrics… and they link me and Theresa across time – all these decades after – allowing us to continue a conversation, even if that conversation is only in my mind.
I don’t know how she was introduced to David Bowie. The first Bowie event I recall was a crisis that developed in our house in 1976. Theresa had tickets to see the Station to Station tour at the Montreal Forum. However she developed a case of mononucleosis that required her to be hospitalized. She was heartbroken, and I remember some heated arguments with my parents about her not being able to go.
Instead she had to wait two years for the Heroes tour. May 3rd, 1978, she finally got her chance. Theresa was seated on the floor of the Forum. I was there too, though in the stands to the back left of stage. I don’t know how she did it, but she managed that night to catch both drums sticks of Dennis Davis, when he threw them out to the audience (If I recall correctly, part of his drum solo was to throw several sets of sticks out to the audience).
The albums she owned were Ziggy Stardust, Diamond Dogs, Station to Station, Low, Heroes, and David Live. I also recall copies of Changes and Aladdin Sane floating through the house, on loan from friends. The lyrics from these albums form the dialogue that has continued with my sister for over thirty years:
I never thought I’d need so many people
Me, I’m out of breath, but not quite doubting
Once I could never be down
Every chance, every chance that I take. I take it on the road
You’ll never know the real story
If you know Carl Jung – or Sting – then you know the concept of synchronicity: The idea that things in this world are a little more than coincidence, but stop short of cause and effect. The latin phrase, Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc has been dancing around in my head for the last month – since the beginning of December – and I don’t know what put it there. It’s a logical fallacy warning that just because B follows A does not necessarily mean A caused B.
I’m not inclined to mysticism, but the last month has been strange. It began New Years day with me listening to David Bowie’s entire catalogue. I do not know what compelled me to do that. On Friday I rushed home from work, bought Bowie’s final album, Blackstar – though I was barely aware he’d released it – and obsessively listened to it over and over. I’m sure I played the final track, I Can’t Give Everything Away thirty times (all of this is well documented on social media by the way, I posted about it). The weekend continued with conversations with colleagues about Bowie, though not specifically about his new release, he just came into conversation.
And then he died.
It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards. The universe rumbles. A golden scarab enters the room.
(with thanks to my good friend, Patricia Pearson, for helping me piece through this)