Beat of My Drum

We are all stardust. I like the idea of being something breathtaking, something wild and untameable– to be a star, shining for millions of lifetimes. David… the man who fell to Earth… you have been restored to his place in the heavens. David, you were the face that set me free. You were the song in my heart. You were my Goblin King.


They called you the Thin White Duke when I fell in love with you, and even then, you were something more than human, in my eyes. I worried about many things, but it was never losing you. Your sass, your fearlessness, your androgyny, your ability to wear your soul for all to see– they set this sheltered young girl free. I remember watching Labyrinth and while Sarah called upon you, you did what you were built to do, you kept your word, you did turn the world upside and you did it all for a fifteen year old girl who asked you to do so. In the end, and I’m sure it wasn’t intended, I felt sad that Jareth flew away alone.

I wrote down my stories for the very first time that year… and it was about Jareth coming back for Sarah years later, about bridging the gap between worlds, about wooing who he knew was supposed to be his queen.

Jareth's Daughter

I remember in the story, Sarah finally falls for Jareth and somehow, in whisking her away to the castle, it breaks the bridge between the two worlds, and she’s trapped in Goblintown with no way home. She becomes pregnant and for some crazy prophetic reason, if she gives birth there, she’ll die. If she doesn’t cross in time, she will have no other choice.

She has to say the words that evict her from the castle.

She and Jareth face off, husband and wife, and she says them, for the sake of their child. Time is broken permanently, and so she is not sent back to 1986, but to the 1700’s, where she gives birth to a beautiful (and magickal!) baby girl. Sarah’s able to call to Jareth, though he’s not able to follow her there, and she knows he hears her. She tells him about the baby. She tells him that their daughter looks just like him… complete with his blue and green eyes. Her voice fills the castle, he can almost see her.

That’s where it stopped. It took two or three years to write it, and I remember I was briefly talked into recognizing what I wrote as evil. So one summer day, at church camp, I walked over to the dumpster and threw it away. About a decade later, I tried to rewrite it, but my hands and my imagination could not recall all the beautiful details.

My first story. My first fan fiction. I remember I wrote much of it to your Never Let Me Down album and of course, the Labyrinth soundtrack. My momma heard that one of your shows was going to be on television, and even though it was scheduled to come on during dinner, she talked my daddy into letting me watch it. I remember being so excited and that I sang along with every word.

Your music, your fierce dedication to being true to yourself, your adaptability and yet your resistance to change– David, there has never been anyone like you and there never will again. In revisiting my youth for the books I am writing that are loosely based on my life then, I keep finding music that my iTunes does not include and so I have to go and collect it. You’ve been so ever-present in my mind, as my beautiful Jonathan Shea is a fan of yours, too. As crazy as it will sound to anyone but possibly you, we both are in mourning.

I can barely wrap it around my own head, but now I’m trying to wrap it around his, and he’s got plenty of years with you still, as in his world, it’s only 1994. You’ve not even written I’m Afraid of Americans, yet.

David… David… I don’t know how to process this. I don’t know how to celebrate you properly, but for this jumble of words. I don’t know how to say good-bye. I don’t want to say goodbye. I don’t know how to say it’s stupidly unfair that your supernova finally went out, and I know it’s selfish to say it like that. How could I voice it like that? How could I revert back to some of the lines I wanted to smack Sarah for? Yet, they’re perfect, so I’ll add it in at the end of this tribute:

It’s not fair!

You say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is?

David Bowie HEROES 1-10-16

Now you can be a hero… forever and ever.

David Bowie 1-10-16

The Man Who Fell to Earth… returned now to his former brilliance.

I will miss you.