Space Oddity – The birthday present

Space Oddity – The birthday present

Space Oddity – Diary Of An Outsider. By Jamie Nevermind.


I’m seven, it’s 1973 and I’m the loneliest boy in the world. Everything seems to be eating me up at the same time. I’m beaten up all the time, cannot concentrate at school. It’s so hard, unbearable.
I look forward to home time, I feel safe there, my family love me. They spoil me.
I am youngest of three.
I walk in to see my father changing from his work clothes into something cozy and sit with mum and me two brothers, watching black and white tv, only two families in our street have the color one. There is a lot of color on tv right now, especially on Top of the Pops. I’m watching this show on my neighbor’s color tv, the pulsating colors from the screen whaaaaooo! Now I’m embarrassed by my reaction.
Not overly impressed by the performers on tonight’s show but the colors, what colors! The visual effects are great! I don’t notice them on my monochrome set.
Hopefully one day we’ll have a color tv too.
My whole family smokes cigarettes. On any given day there is a cloud in the
living room, there is something comforting about it.
Earlier this year my brother Steve and his girlfriend Sue took me on a coach trip to Scarborough, I don’t remember much of it, but will always remember the coach trip.

Sitting in front of my brother and his girlfriend I have a full seat to
myself, this makes me happy.
My brother has a portable cassette player with a leather holster that he swings elegantly over his shoulder; I’ve never seen a man do that before. So impressed.
A sensuous voice is emanating from the tape recorder, I instantly feel at home, don’t know why.
That voice, I know that voice, It is the man who sings Space Oddity which my brothers posses on single. Love this song: “Throw I crossed one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still.”
Listening to the mix tape of Bowie’s songs, I wonder have I heard these songs before; I was not sure, I’m still not sure.


June 5 th , 1973
It’s my birthday and I’m eight now. Yesterday I was seven, why don’t I feel older than I did yesterday?
Very soon without my knowing it, at least for the time being I will know why.
My brother Kenny steps into our shared bedroom to wish me happy birthday, he has a card with a big eight written on it. He hands me a small wrapped present.

I unwrap eagerly and see my first album on cassette. The picture on front is of a being, maybe alien maybe not; red hair, eyes closed with a lightning bolt strewn across his delicate features.
My first thought; ‘Now I can listen to Space Oddity’ I glance excitedly at the track list but to my dismay there is no Space Oddity.
Maybe it goes under a different song title, I wonder.
I place the cassette into the tape player and sit with my back against the wall and listen.

Nothing is happening…maybe the volume is down. I lean towards the magic box then suddenly I’m thrown back towards the wall in ecstatic shock.
It has begun; duuthedeedududu. The walls in this room will forever carry a different energy, as will I.


The music; loud and tight and sexy oh, so sexy. Wait I’m a child, is it not too early for this kind of feelings? Apparently not. I’m ready, but for what?
The first song swings loudly by and than silence.
The second song starts, this is different, in the space of five minutes I have crossed boundaries into music, which my neighborhood friends will not cross for a long time… perhaps ever.
The second song by now has put images of war and glass splinters smashing all around me. Surely, this room cannot take this madness, can I?
I’m taken through so many dark and twisted avenues in such small time frame. I feel paralyzed to the point of surrender. I am listening more than ever.

I am excited and exhausted beyond belief, for forty minutes I will forget the torment of physical, mental and sexual abuse I have far endured and will continue to endure.
This is my space in time; my vortex, my liberation, my inner peace, never to be broken, never, not by Garry Glitter fans that will pick on me daily because the secret is out, I’m a Bowie fan which means that they think, like Bowie, I must be gay too.
They are calling him a pervert because of his sexual freedoms-time is a funny thing- Time is waiting in the wings.

Still no Space Oddity, at the age of eight I am sure that the artist makes only one
album, so where is the song that I long for?
There are songs I recognize from the day trip in Scarbourog and beyond that I heard on the journey to a distant horizons. This is the moment I realized that music could take you back to a certain place. A feeling recorded in our psyche.
My God, there is no time!
At the end of the album I’m so happy and yet confused, why doesn’t everyone feel the way I do. These feelings soon dissipate as I turned off the tape player and go downstairs to be with my loving family and have lunch.
There will be numerous times in my life where I would have similar experiences.

I remember where I was and what I was doing every time when listening to David Bowie.
Energy does not die.

Jamie Nevermind

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