January 13, 2016

Oh No, Don't Say it's True...

My very first concert was David Bowie's Glass Spider tour. I was 15, my cousin Gill took me and it was unforgettable. I'd enjoyed Bowie's music for years but his music took on deeper meaning when I saw his theatrical and enthralling live show for myself. A few years later, I took 14-yr-old Amir and his friends Mike and Ryan to Bowie's Sound + Vision tour--another awesome experience (and a great memory!).

Another memory: I was about 10 when Dad brought home Aladdin Sane on vinyl and I remember sitting on the living-room floor with Amir, poring over the bizarre artwork (along with that of Dark Side of the Moon and Physical Graffiti). Dad also introduced us to Space Oddity. Guess it's time to say thanks!

Back to now. I'd listened to Bowie's new album Blackstar on Spotify last Friday at my desk and I found it so mesmerizing I couldn't focus on my work. I hadn't listened to new Bowie music in a decade but I was compelled to download Blackstar after reading a review describing the album as Bowie's pondering his death and mortality, two subjects I've become obsessed with lately.

I was so moved by Blackstar, I bought the album on iTunes, something I rarely do anymore. I spent a quiet, reflective weekend listening to the album, wishing I could share it with Amir and discuss its themes with him. As Yael so eloquently put it in a text Monday: "I never would have understood what [Bowie] was trying to do without Amir."

Hearing the news of Bowie's death Monday morning, I yelled back at the radio, "What?! NO!" I'd spent the weekend listening to his farewell! The minute I heard, I ached to call Amir. The news would have hit him hard. I wanted to cry not so much because Bowie was gone (though that stings plenty) but because it hurts so fucking much not to be able to share it with Amir. I want so badly to talk to him about it. It is so fucking hard to face these cultural milestones without being able to talk to Amir. I can't quite process these things without discussing them with Amir and getting his insight. It's like I'm missing a part of my brain.

Last night in my sibling grief-support group, a friend shared a book she'd created, full of funny and snarky Facebook posts her late brother had posted. He was a bright, sarcastic wit, just like Amir. I thought of this blog and how I intended for it to be a repository, a showcase of Amir's life--things he said and did, memories of his childhood and the profound effect he had on people throughout his life. I still have plenty of gems to share with all of you. Stick with me, friends.

January 9, 2016

Amir in Top Form

Jeremy, one of Amir's close high-school friends, recently sent me a very funny and touching remembrance of Amir, which I look forward to sharing here soon. For now, I had to share the part Jeremy wrote about a memorable email from my brother that can only be described as classic Amir:

"I just did a search in my Gmail for emails from Amir. We didn’t email that often, but we had a couple good back-and-forths. His voice is present in all of them. This excerpt is Amir in a nutshell:
We're all getting older, my friend. Birth, death, marriage, divorce - these things seem to occur at a breakneck pace lately. Please give regards to Charles and your old lady. My folks are doing well. My mom asks about you. Not in a sexual way. Actually, I can't really confirm that. Take care. - Amir"
I have mined my own emails and handwritten notes for gems from Amir and have a plethora to share. Meanwhile, keep sending me your own remembrances. Seeing my brother through other people's eyes brings me closer to him, which I ache to do every day.