Heroes (live) :: David Bowie

1. I used to drive down to the beach, at night, in an attempt to clear my thoughts and emotions when things at home just got to be too much. This was in my first car, when I first had discovered the delicious freedom of driving while listening to music turned up loud. This song was one of about five that always did it for me. It was a magical escape that would overtake me within the confines of the song, and the next thing I knew I would be plotting out the images of some self-created tragic love story to this song.

2. The story I created, to this song, I still see it clearly on the backside of my eyes, when I close them tight, listen, and sing-a-long. I suppose the images, the mini-film, represents my own music video, one that I still immediately recall when the song plays. I am quite glad there is not an actual scripted/directed music video to this song as I know I would invariably be disappointed to see it.

3. There was a certain bar that we used to go to together that had the best jukebox I have ever encountered. The very first thing we would do on arrival was empty our wallets of dollar bills and loose change to feed the machine with. A favorite bartender of mine, from back then, smiled in that mutual musical recognition one night when I had chosen this song, both of us silently acknowledging that we loved the song. He came around the side and on a whim I said “dance with me“, and we did, to the last half of the song, in the corner of the crowded bar, together.

4. It is interesting how as a child you do not question beyond happy ever after’s, the distinctions between good and evil, and true love. You expet the heroes to win, even if they are what you will later recognize as an anti-hero, which I think this song lyrically represents with lines about being mean and drinking too much, but still being heroes, at least to each other. Does there forever exist part of yourself that still believes, like a child does, even when you carry the insecurity/self-deprecating spirit that this society seems to encourage. Should we hold on to these unattainable ideas, discard them in order to garner a more realistic life perspective, or do they simply need to evolve and grow, as we do? What makes a hero, from a more grown-up perspective? Are we not all heroes to someone in our own lives?

5. November marks national novel writing month, and in response I am resurrecting my post-apocalyptic tale of love and loss and redemption. I had given up on it long ago after hitting a wall of writer’s block and severe self-doubt, but I think it is time to get the story out of me. Part of it is definitely a tale of a heroine, and an anti-hero, full of flaws and mistakes, but also full of courage and persistence; the kind of heroism I can write, I suppose. It does have me thinking, though, about the definitions of courage and heroics, which of course led me to this song today.

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