Growing up, the nearest worthwhile park was a 40 minutes bus ride away. It had a zoo with iron bar cages, a century-old carousel that made your hands smell like metal, and pony rides. It was where I learned to ride a bike without training wheels and discovered my love for bears and cotton candy.

It’s also the place I had one of my very first dates. We had agreed to meet up in the rose gardens. He was wearing a too-big button-down shirt with camels on it, slobbered all over my face, and almost caused me to swear off kissing forever. Almost.

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More than anything, the news of David Bowie’s passing fills me with tinges of sadness for my baby brother who didn’t get to experience our parents the way I did. Before the drugs, before the dischord, before the weight of their impending adulthood manifested itself, there were weekend mornings spent on the road to anywhere, cruising around for the sake of exploring, and getting out of our concrete tower prison. There were picnics on the side of country roads with stolen strawberries and ears of corns, and all those times my Ma lost us in the woods in a neverending search for Baby’s Breath. And always Stevie Nicks, Queen, Bowie or Dylan playing in the background as the soundtrack.

It didn’t matter that I didn’t understand what those songs meant then, it only mattered that as soon as Ma pushed the Space Oddity tape into the car’s radio, I got to spend time with the two people who, despite their (already) explosive fights, stopped long enough to get along and take me on adventures so I would want to make something of myself and explore the world they wanted me to experience but couldn’t afford to show me.

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Unless you’re one of the handful of people who are close to me, you would have no idea that my life is run on impulse and middle-of-the-night needs to learn/try something new. Combine that with my tendency to hyper-focus on a task1, and the near impossible amount of bees in my bonnet, and you end up with a pretty healthy collection of half-finished or in-progress pieces strewn all over the house2.

  1. The opposite is also true. I’m very good at not being able to focus on ANYTHING for any productive length of time e.g.: anywhere with a lot of people. It works GREAT on dates 😩 []
  2. I’d like to point out that the stove top is a FANTASTIC place to leave a plate full of oil paint []

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