Til There Was Bowie, I Only Had God

Thought Catalog

A few months back, I ran into an old acquaintance at a mutual friend’s party. Emboldened by the Bacardi she had liberated from the host, she gestured at my forearm. “You have a David Bowie tattoo! …Why do you have a David Bowie tattoo?” I was taken aback. It wasn’t a question that sought an answer; it was more like a stern condemnation of my competence, and perhaps a challenge to my sanity. Laughing it off, I reached for my drink and dodged the question.

I could only avoid this inquisition temporarily: soon enough, friends, family, bosses, and professors would ask about the man on my arm. When I explained it was David Bowie, they again would ask the question: “Why?” I unsatisfactorily answered, “Yeah, I like David Bowie.” Their faces would inevitably turn quizzical, using a slight scowl to express “Why on Earth would you do that? I mean…

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