When I was very young I thought jesus was a young boy who had a moon for a head that lived on the moon and cried every time you did something bad. No idea where that came from.
My first school was an Anglican private school. We sang hymns every morning and learned about the bible in religious education. They seemed pretty good about it; not a lot of hellfire or hate. I remember most of the lessons about morality seemed right. All along the lines of do the right thing regardless of what people say or think about you or if they are different or believe in different things.
I decided I was an atheist when I was maybe ten, mainly because I prayed that I could fly and it didn’t turn out. What I had in mind was a cool pair of bat wings because I was a Dark Kid. When I didn’t get them I decided God was not real and did not look back. I learned how to fly in dreams when I was very young and now it seems second nature.
When I first heard “Starman” it seemed synonymous with jesus. I listened to the lyrics and the picture in my head was a boy with a moon for a head that lived on the moon and watched us and wanted us to be happy.
There is a very specific hurt right in the middle of me that I get whenever I hear it.
I am in the death star in star wars. I liked the new movie but it was still not that great. There is too much shit in this hangar bay. Like a million stormtroopers and an AT-ST and they are shooting a million laser guns. The lasers are shooting in every direction and there are a lot of explosions.
There is only me and David Bowie on the rebel side. We are doing okay even though there is no line-of-sight blocking terrain because the stormtroopers are mainly shooting each other. I have a laser gun but it doesn’t do anything when I pull the trigger, so I just aim it at stormtroopers and make laser noises to fight. David Bowie has a carton of eggs but he seems hesitant to throw any.
“Sam,” David Bowie says, “There are babies in these eggs, every one.”
He has a haircut like a kid who takes up smoking in grade seven.
“They are casualties of this war. Whether I throw them or not. I cannot save them sam. These babies are dead already.”
David Bowie starts crying. His lightning bolt is leaking.
“Dammit Bowie.” I say. I am angry because I am his commanding officer, but I understand. It makes me sad too. “You gotta throw those eggs son.”
David Bowie opens the carton. There are a lot of stars behind him, outside the hangar shield in space. They are beautiful and make my middle hurt. He cries more as he throw an egg, he sounds like he is singing. The throw is weak and the egg smashes just in front of him. There is a dead baby chicken on the ground, covered in yolk.
“The babies are already dead Bowie.” I say, I aim and make three short pchews, a stormtrooper falls over. I think one of his friends shot him.
There is a poster for McDonalds on the inside of the Ipswich train. It is a picture of a giant burger with a thick layer of ham under the chicken patty. The words are mainly just jumbled letters and copyright symbols. The train is quiet except for the jostle of the tracks. David Bowie sits on the opposite side of the four-person seat. His hair is red this time.
“I am poor Bowie,” I say to David Bowie, “and hungry. I can’t remember the last time I bought a hamburger.”
“Sam,” David Bowie says, “I can lend you $11.60. Get that hamburger, do not worry about the commercialism.”
I am very grateful for the $11.60 but I am too tired to cry about it. The train is going down the middle of the street. We pass many McDonalds but the train is not stopping anywhere. I am very hungry. The sky is grey.
The train stops in the middle of Ipswich in the future. David Bowie left when I wasn’t looking. There is no McDonalds close so I dump the $11.60 in the coin part of my wallet and zip it up. I won’t have time to get a hamburger because I need to Be Somewhere.
I walk through the big park in the middle of town. It is mainly giant concrete rectangles but there are some nice trees and water features. I can hear frogs croaking. Normally frogs freak me out but it sounds nice this time. A ladies voice plays from speakers set up around the park.
“The frogs are croaking because they like us. They want to let us know that they want us to be happy.”
There are too many people at the party. The table with all the food at it is crowded and I can’t get to it. My girlfriend is there hanging with Someone Else. She approaches me, smiles. She asks if that instead of moving in with me she can move in with Someone Else.
“Yes of course.” I say. I look over her shoulder at the food table but there is no path to it. I am very hungry but I can’t get food because my girlfriend is breaking up with me so I leave.
When I get outside I start running. I try to look where I am going but I can’t lift my head. All I see is road. My middle hurts. I start to stumble, remember I can fly. I try to fly to a McDonalds and my feet lift off the ground, set back down.
I try again and I think I am flying.
I should have been sad that Bowie is dead right
I mean the guy made me believe in aliens
That is very important to me
I was an atheist when I was young because I didn’t know how to do magic yet
I don’t identify as agnostic because I got too much proof
I like to believe that heaven is going off into space and having adventures and shit
Bowie is defs doing that so I am not sad
I mean whats the fucking point of being a cynic right