It’s January 10th. I woke up this morning much the way I did exactly a year ago, unaware of what the day holds. Only, this time round, I didn’t collapse in tears.
I couldn’t tell you what I did a week ago, or even two days ago. But I remember – painfully – exactly what happened a year ago, where I was, what I was wearing, where I was headed for the day, all of it. And much like one year ago, the eyes blur from salt water and my skin shrinks against me, as though my body is trying to hug itself out of mourning.
Today deserves no cake, no fanfare, no smile. Today is a day the music doesn’t die, but rises like a phoenix given life by all it’s followers.
Today we mourn the loss of David Robert Jones. The Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Jareth.
True to heart, it does feel like we lost more than one person. It feels like we lost a leader, a world of colour and flash, flame and ice, heart and soul.
David had left a thumbprint not just on myself, but practically every friend and lover I have ever known. He left an everlasting impact on the music, literature, fashion and style, opening minds and hearts alike.
I have often said he knew who I was before I did. And he had already accepted me, encouraged my voice to come out, loud and proud. He embodied beauty in his movements. When he sang, it was a solace – a sanctuary – from the rest of the world that wasn’t so welcoming.
I’ve met him many times, but always only in my dreams. The conversations we’ve had! We discussed literature, poetry, the music that’s out now, the decline of humanity as reflected in the upcoming president-elect, whether these shoes go with this skirt. (“No. No, darling, you’ve missed the mark. Go back and put on the Doc Martens. Be true to yourself.”)
I have an incredibly talented friend named Raquel Cion, who has paid a myriad of tributes to David both before and after he passed. I didn’t think it was possible, but she hurts for this more than I do. Ours is a relationship that started at work, but grew because of our mutual love for Mr. Jones. We have been friends since late 2012, and she was not the one who told me of his passing, but she was the first one I reached out to, to check in on after the blow.
I had found out that morning, and it felt like my body imploded. It melted into itself from the brain down. It was my first day on an assignment working in the Empire State Building, and my supervisor noticed immediately the shift in personality.
A soul may be weightless, but boy does the body feel heavy when it’s gone.