Wednesday, November 2, 2022


Dream It's 1:00 in the morning on a Saturday night in the early '90's and my friend Jerry and I are at a bus bench on 5th Street in Miami Beach, outside the back door of a club. I hesitate to say "Mardi Gras atmosphere," but there's a *bunch* of people around. They're alternately packed so tightly that I see them shoulder to shoulder surge past us, heading eastward toward the ocean, and simply bunched together in groups, leaving us room to step into the street and be demonstrative in our speech, waving our arms in the air as warranted by the importance of what we're saying. We are--everyone is--pleasantly intoxicated, loud, boisterous.

It's hot, of course it is, sweat is part of the deal here on Miami Beach. It's noisy. Music is blaring through that back door, people are talking loudly, some are screaming.

We're gonna see David Bowie, we know it. He's gonna show up in the crowd, and Jerry has some business with him, but I've got an Important Question for the guy.

And suddenly there he is. David Bowie in the flesh, the Thin White Duke. He's wearing loafers, and a tan jacket, and Jerry steps up to him and respectuflly starts speaking to him. Then it's my turn and I stammer a bit, but he's listening to what I'm saying and I ask him how many shows he did in Miami Beach in the early days with Mick Ronson . . . and I'm tongue-tied a bit but I pull it out . . . and Martin Rev and John Cale. And Bowie corrects me, "no . . . John Cale was much later, but I did play many many shows here back in the day."

And I'd wanted more from him, I wanted the nitty-gritty of those early, crucial, Miami Beach days, but clearly Bowie hasn't got time for that. He was polite, but he's got to be moving on. So he takes off his jacket and hands it to me, and slips out of his loafers. I put his jacket on, but I'm flush with footwear; the loafers sit there on the curb.

Jerry and I keep talking there in front of the bus bench, not even about just having met David Bowie. I take out some Nyquil tablets from my pocket and twist the pills so that the gooey medicine inside the capsules drips into Bowie's loafers there on the curb. Jerry sees me do this, then he pulls out some Nyquil capsules from *his* pockets, and does the exact same thing.

Some time later, Bowie is back. He needs to put his shoes on. He does and it's clear he knows his feet are now all sticky with gel acetaminophen. Without saying anything, he walks across the sidewalk and as he passes Jerry standing there, he farts loudly. He starts walking away, but I chase him down and tell him I need to give him his jacket back. So he says, yeah you're right, and I hand him his jacket.

Later Jerry's wife shows up and we're telling her what happened and Jerry tells her it's only the second time somebody had farted on him in that way, the other time it had been my delinquent crack addict friend Jack.

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