Ziggy Is a Small, Bald, Trouserless, Barefoot, Almost Featureless Character Who Seems to Have No Friends

Spiders on LSD spin weird webs. Spiders from Mars jam good.

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I wore platform boots and a chiffon blouse today in honor of Ziggy Stardust. I was thinking about him on Sunday afternoon while I unpacked boxes and arranged stuff in our new house. I blasted him playing live. Why Ziggy Stardust as move-in music? Maybe cuz I was surrounded by so much unfamiliar and he’s the familiar alien. Oh you pretty things echoed through the cavernousness. It bounced off tiles and bricks. Our new house’s emptiness, stillness, hard surfaces, and strangeness sharpened the music’s alien nature. It especially sharpened that voice. I stood in our kitchen with my phone. My crusty finger swiped its screen. I looked at pictures of him. Specifically pictures of him from The Hunger. I didn’t know he was going to die really soon or did I? My grandma claimed to have psychic powers. Once, she strutted up to a pregnant chola at a drugstore. My grandma placed her hands on the sweatshirt shrouding the chola’s fetus. She shut her wrinkled eyelids and drank intergalactic energy. Gravely, she announced, “Eats going to be…a girl.”

The chola smiled. “I already got the ultrasound!” she said. “Eats a boy!”

That kind of psychic energy runs in our family. The stupid kind. We are mostly Mexican so we pray to god, the virgin, and any entity who will bestow winning lottery numbers upon us. We want to win Powerball and we promise not to blow everything on hookers and cocaine. My family is open to supernaturally gaming the system, but it hasn’t worked yet. The only way our psychic power has manifested correctly is by putting me in tune with David Bowie dying. While he was death rattling, I knelt. I scrubbed our kitchen floor to Life on Mars? I lined drawers in contact paper to Young Americans. I don’t understand the point of contact paper. It’s a cousin of toilet seat covers. What are they protecting you from?

Yourself.

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Leaning against my snowy stove, I rested. I shivered. I thought. I daydreamt myrself into The Hunger.

That movie is hell of important. It’s a gateway movie.

That movie gave us a certain version of David Bowie that matters lasciviously. It gave us David Bowie as something that gets thrown under the bus to facilitate lesbian sex. He was like a lesbian Jesus. His job was to be quiet and go away so that two women could inherit each other’s earths. David Bowie mattered so much because he was the thing that didn’t matter to Catherine Deneuve. She’s the boss of the movie. David Bowie plays her vampire companion who after several hundred years starts to deteriorate and age. Catherine Deneuve turned him the way he is, eternal, but when his body starts crumpling, she scouts for his replacement. She chooses a scientist with short hair, great breasts, and a nicotine addiction. Deneuve seduces Susan Sarandon the scientist hard. David Bowie shrivels like a July jack-o’-lantern or a leper. He turns so ugly you almost can’t feel sorry for him. You just want to let yourself be grossed out and not deal with compassion. He creaks around, a dilapted vampire trying to feed, and he can’t even kill a man on roller skates for dinner. Its sad. Deneuve sticks him in a box and seems only slightly sorry. She stows him in the attic.

David Bowie being stowed in the attic like an old hat showed me that lust between two hot women can supersede a white man’s body.

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“Miriam!” Bowie screams.

“Miriam!”

“Miriam!”

That scream did it for me. Miriam’s my name and it was like he was yelling at me. Miriam was the boss. Miriam was evil and effortlessly tasteful. Miriam came from Egypt and spoke with a French accent. Why? Why the French accent? Who knows. It worked. Finally, a namesake. I never encountered any cinematic namesakes til Miriam. After seeing The Hunger, I was pleased with myr name. My heart thanked my parents for their choice but I didn’t thank them out loud. What was I supposed to say? Thank you for naming me after the queen of the lesbian vampires? I should call them and tell them that right now.

I encouraged the first white girl I fell in love with to watch The Hunger with me. We popped it into the VCR in her parents’ living room and got warm staring at it. Her mom walked in on us and looked at twat was happening onscreen. Her face paled in the way that mom’s faces pale when their suspicions about their androgynous daughters are confirmed.

I wanted to do the things the vampire and the scientist were doing. The white girl and I went upstairs, to her room. She had a futon.

After The Hunger ended, David Bowie remained. He appeared on mix tapes the white girl gave me. Weren’t you courted with mix tapes? So many of us were. David Bowie later appeared on mix tapes my inappropriately older boyfriend with the freckled privates gave me. The girl and the man chose alien songs to woo me with. They touched me to alien songs, too. So Bowie is for reals part of my nature. Major Tom’s melodies, rhythms, harmonies, cascades and sax became part of my skin. Bowie composed my sexuality. He’s in the half of me that’s gay and the half of me that’s not.

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