The Thin White Duke and The Tiny Wife

In 'response' to Jonathan Carroll’s story Ziggy Stardust and the Car Thief

A couple of days after landing at Heathrow, Bowie finally got around to unpacking his bag and discovered the book he had dropped in there that had been pressed into his chest as he was walking to the pick-up point. He had never heard of the book before - or had he? Maybe he just forgot about it - but being as people were normally in the habit of asking stupid questions as opposed to giving him nice gifts, he sat down in the big chair in the corner of his hotel room and began to read. 

Three days later, he closed the book and nodded to himself in that self satisfactory manner you do when you are pleased with the way something has panned out and felt inclined himself to make a similar random gift. Wearing a pair of dark sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, he thought he remembered passing a branch of Foyles on the way to the hotel and headed in that general direction until he found it. He knew exactly what he was looking for on the shelves and it didn’t take him long to find the small hardback version of Andrew Kaufman’s THE TINY WIFE that he had been so impressed with. In fact, on more than one occasion, close family had told him to be quiet about it when his enthusiasm for the book had uncharacteristically fizzed over the top of the bottle.

“No. I won’t be needing a bag thanks.” He screwed the receipt into a ball, dropped it into the bin outside of the bookstore and looked around for somebody to hand the book to. Typically, when you decide to make such a gesture, there is never anybody suitable around to receive it, but being as he had already given away the copy he had once owned, decided instead to keep it for himself and walked back to his hotel humming the tune to a song that had presented itself for composing in the future that would be called “This One’s A Keeper”.

Sion Smith