One day in my twenties, I picked my dad up at the airport. As I drove him home, we chatted about his trip.
It was good, he said. He paused. “At LAX, I ran into David Bowie.”
“You… did?” I managed not to say, You know who David Bowie is?
My dad said that he was changing terminals and when he stepped outside, Bowie was standing at the curb, waiting for his ride.
“Did you speak to him?” I said, though I already knew the answer to that. My dad never shied from anything.
“I told him I admired his music. We talked about his influences, from twentieth century classical composers to the avant-garde.”
They chatted for a minute, then my dad hustled to his terminal and Bowie climbed into his limo.
I should not have been surprised by any of this. My dad, who looked every inch the English professor he was, also was a classical pianist and professional organist. What delights me is how my dad just ambled up, chill as all get-out, and started talking to Bowie about his music. Bowie engaged with a complete stranger, warmly and genuinely.
Thank you, David Bowie, for being so cool, and for helping me understand that my dad was cool too.
We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day.