Epiphany while hearing “Rocket Man”
After the noise of the crowd quiets to a dull ringing in his ear, he starts to feel the impending silence. Angie Aparo climbs into his car to continue the tour. He turns up the AM radio, but barely hears through the crackling of a familiar song.
The adrenaline fades and he wonders if he should stop; the rain is crashing hard into the windshield. The pounding of the drops mix with the radio static.
On the side of the road, the sound comes through. Waiting.
The epiphany comes; the meaning of the song. He loves his job that puts him in a “tin can” far from the light of his home, but “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.”
Major Tom is stuck driving through an unending “rectangle state” and, though Angie doesn’t feel depressed, he starts to feel trapped in the rain on the side of a highway so far from home.
“I’d played that song on and off for years, but even though I had taken it in and applied it to my life I hadn’t listened to it,” Angie later said.
A weird feeling of greatness swirls with awfulness as Angie hears, “It’s just my job five days a week.”
He thinks of the grandfather he’s named after and feels estranged from a similar life experience, with a family and job in town.
“I have no say in it because this isn’t a career; it’s a psychological, spiritual path, but I’ll never have anything normal,” Angie said. “My grandfather had this family and I’m just a rocket man with no way out of this, it’s sad.”
In that upper part of the country; that part of the world is so far you feel like you might as well be in space. The rain lets up and Angie makes it to the hotel, feeling the song’s power. He soon afterward brings it back into the his set. More than 15 years later, it’s still a staple.