A Conversation with my 7 year old about Bowie (and cancer)
Brushing my teeth at bedtime... Ella Pants comes and stands in doorway of the bathroom.
Hey mom, you know that guy in the cartoon ?
What cartoon? I ask (a little confused).
You know ,that guy in the cartoon, what’s his name? Michael Jackson?
(she points to a magazine I have on a pile of boxes in the hallway with David Bowie on front cover)
No that’s not Michael Jackson it’s David Bowie.
She says: well, you know what’s weird about him?
No I say.
Well, she says... everything about him is weird.
I laugh and say, well yes and isn’t it fantastic?
I then say, well he is one of my favourite artists of all times. I even wrote a university art history dissertation on him
Are you in love with him? She asks.
I say, well he was pretty amazing. A great artist, singer, songwriter, actor, painter etc
She asks- Did you ever meet him?
I ask, do you mean did I get to see him live? in a concert?
Yes, she says.
Well, yes I did (and I tell her that story). She is enthralled and asks... what did he look like? What did he sound like? What did he smell like? What did he taste like?
I say I wish I knew what he smelled and tasted like. I explain it was a concert and we sat far away so only saw and heard him. She asked how old I was then. I say, in my 20s.
Mom, would you marry David Bowie? she asks I explain that he was all ready married and also that he is no longer alive so I can’t marry him.
How did he die? She asks.
Oh, she says, he died of cancer?
Yes, I say, lots of people die from cancer.
She then adds... mom, I am
glad you didn’t die of your cancer.
Me too, I say. Me too.