January 18th, 2016


David Bowie dream, 12/16/16

Almost a week after David Bowie's death, I dreamt that he and I were sitting at a table somewhere - a cheap school/college table, like one would have in a library, - and drawing.

Or rather, I'm drawing, and he comes up to help out. The pictures on the paper in front of me look like political cartoons or illustrations to a second-tier children's book. Not my drawing style at all. Also I'm drawing without reference pictures, which I never do. It's no wonder that I'm having trouble with all of them. They are all missing something.

The first picture is a bird, passerine or corvid, facing the viewer, head slightly tilted. Bowie stands behind me and draws two more birds at each side of it, at slightly different angles, in the same style. He's using two color pencils, light grey and bright blue. I'm drawing with a regular pencil.

The second picture is a boy or a young man, kind of resembling Tin-Tin, dot eyes and line smile. For some reason, I can't settle on a hairstyle for him. Bowie boldly completes the line of his hair until it's a large and picturesque do, angles and waves, as if a cubist drew Johnny Bravo.

The third picture is a large wave, or perhaps a tsunami. Bowie draws it, and I begin to cross-hatch rather illogical shadows and contours into it, using dashes and plus signs.

Bowie turns to go. I grab his hand and ask him not to go. He won't stay. I bring his hand to my mouth and drop to the floor. I start crying. He pulls his hand away and leaves.


This dream puzzles me to no end. I have never had any feelings or opinions on David Bowie. I can't name a single song of his, even after all the tributes and articles that flooded all my social media feeds after his death. "Ground control to Major Tom" is literally the only lyric of his I can recall off the top of my head. I know almost nothing about him. I know he invented a character in the 70s or 80s with a lightning bolt thing on his face; I know he was in a movie about Goblins where the main character was apparently his crotch; and I know he had some kind of eye injury that gave him one permanently dilated pupil or something. Somehow, his actual art completely passed me by. Alan Rickman's passing the same week affected me much more.