I’m not sure where all my cassette tapes went when I was 18, but for a while I only had two tapes: Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and the Clash “London Calling”.

I listened to those two tapes while packing to move for years. I still listen to Ziggy Stardust when packing to move. Which means I’ve listened to it /a lot/.

Mary introduced me to David Bowie’s music. She had as full a collection of his albums as anyone in small town southern Illinois in the mid-1980’s. We would turn off the lights in her bedroom, put on an album and just… listen.

She spray-painted “Rebel, Rebel, I love you so!” on the inside of an abandoned railroad car we adopted as our own. Somehow we moved an old sprung-cushion lounge chair into that railroad car.

It is fascinating how music is so evocative and nostalgic. A few notes will conjure up memories long thought forgotten to the quiet space between now and then.

My 16-year-old self couldn’t see this future.
My almost 45-year-old self can look back and see my young self, listening to Hunky Dory in Mary’s bedroom – then a few years later with Ziggy Stardust, in that warehouse in Oakland where Jason┬áslept in the room below, packing a few bags to return to Carbondale to college and an ambiguous future.

I never thought I’d need so many people….