“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”
-David Bowie-“Lazarus”, from Blackstar, the album released on his 69th birthday, two days before he died.
The padded envelope came without a note or a return address, but according to postage and markings, it had come from Thailand, and it was addressed to me. Inside was a jersey style t-shirt with a picture of the Goblin King on the front. It was an odd gift. Anyone who knows me even marginally well knows I’m more than a casual Bowie fan, but I’ve always been pretty indifferent to Labyrinth. Even as a kid, I was never swept under its spell like so many of my peers. At 13, perhaps I was just a bit too old (and prematurely cynical) for the child-like wonder of it, but not old enough to really understand who David Bowie was beyond the “Let’s Dance“, “Modern Love,” and “China Girl” videos that MTV played on heavy rotation in its early days (though in hindsight, I do find it hard to believe that at the very least, 13 year-old me wasn’t completely enamored with 16 year-old Jennifer Connelly–sadly, I was clueless about nearly everything back then.)
After some asking around, I discovered that my brother had bought it off Etsy and sent it to me for my birthday. He knows I love Bowie, of course, and the Goblin King was probably referencing shared childhood memories that seem a bit cloudy now. I think he was also making fun of me a little. Either for being too cool, or because the Goblin King is ridiculous, or both. Either way, the shirt is fucking awesome, and I love it, and every time I wear it, I get streams of compliments. I mean, apparently people of all stripes unironically love the Goblin King! Go figure. Anyway, I’m wearing it right now, and I haven’t taken it off since I learned of Bowie’s death late Sunday night (which I could hardly believe, and am still not totally sure I believe). Cosmically, according to Facebook, that shirt arrived at my house on December 10, 2015, exactly one year before the great Starman passed into the next dimension. Continue reading