Current mood:crushedSo it's been three days since the tragic passing of my musical hero, Michael Jackson.
I remember being a kid and always kind of wondering what was gonna happen when he passed. Would time stop? Would all the last unicorns in the world die? Would lasers and diamonds rain down from the sky? I was sure that all of the above would befall us.
I had just gotten out of the shower and my boyfriend, Ollie yelled out to me "Michael Jackson is DEAD!!" I stopped in my tracks and literally felt my heart sink in my chest. Could it be? Could this incredible being that invented magic really be gone? I thought for sure it was a hoax. He had shows to play! Songs to sing! A comeback to make! Most importantly- he had ME to meet!!
I dropped my towel and we began frantically searching the internet for more information on what would turn out to be the most impactful death of a celebrity I have experienced in my lifetime. In our search we came across a rather humorous story from back in the day- some enquirer type of magazine report stating that Michael Jackson's body was found buried beneath the miniature train tracks at the infamous Neverland Ranch- but that the decaying corpse was nearly twenty years old. It went on to state that authorities were investigating who-or what-was impersonating the King of Pop and suggested it may be of supernatural origin. Silly as this article seemed, it had an eery truth to it- It seemed as if the man that once thrilled and inspired me had indeed disappeared a long time ago. Somewhere between Black or White and You are not alone, things got weird.
Weird may be an understatement. But I will say that even through all the embarrassing and upsetting trials he battled, I still believed in Michael. Even though I knew that he was guilty as sin, I still couldn't deny the enormous effect he had on my musical and artistic development. I have always stated Michael as my number one influence and inspiration, and he always will be.
Then we saw it. TMZ was reporting that the great Michael Jackson had died of cardiac arrest. I wanted to cry but was kind of embarrassed and felt like Ollie would judge me or something. So I just sort of teared up and tried to brush it off. I had a session to go to, so I went. My phone was blowing up all day, any one who knows me knows what a huge fan I am. I have a sweet Michael memorabilia collection I've been tending to for years, including a mirror with a graphic of him on it in his red leather jacket and it says on the bottom, below your own reflection: "Who's Bad?" and I always would look in it and say "Me. I'm bad. Thanks for the reminder, Michael!" and dance my way out the door, fingers snapping.
Anyway. So I went to my session and as the night wore on I realized that Hollywood would surely be abuzz with michael tribute parties, and was anxious to get out and pay my respects the right way.So my roommate and I got dressed up in our finest Michael gear and hit the town. The Rosevelt was playing nothing but Michael and I busted out my best moves, which are pretty decent considering I spent my whole fucking childhood trying to master them. They played it all- Bad, Beat it, Thriller, Rock With You, Smooth Criminal, PYT, Black Or White, Say Say Say, you name it, they played it. And then came the kicker. Soaring above the dark sweaty dance floor and piercing straight through my devastated heart, I heard his little baby angel voice singing "I'll Be There". It was just so pure and beautiful and innocent, it just knocked me over thinking about what that perfect little voice was destined to do, to see, to suffer. And you could hear the sadness in his voice, and the hope. It was just too much, I had to leave. I wondered and feared how people would react if I just started bawling on the dance floor in my leather jacket and fingerless gloves, if I would be seen as some sort of a crazy superfan that supports and maybe even loves a pedophile. So I got a little misty eyed and went home.
The next day I was glued to my laptop searching for more information. Was he drugged? Was it suicide from the pressure of his upcomming shows in London? Were people coming forward with crazy secrets about him now that he wasn't there to pay them to keep quiet? I heard people driving by outside my house blasting "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" and felt a pang in my chest.
Then today, when I woke up still rattled by the whole thing, I decided to go see the memorial at his Hollywood star and see what people were doing. It's just a few blocks away form my house and I was on my way to the studio, so I thought I'd drive by and take a look. As I was sitting in the horrible traffic, I saw the normal hustle bustle of people and figured that it was from a premiere at the Chinese Theater, which often slows things down, but as I came closer, i saw that people were lined up the block to pay their respects to Michael at his star. There was a whole area barricaded off just for the six foot pile of flowers alone. There were balloons and candles everywhere and the line seemed to stretch on forever. As I sat there in gridlock traffic just feet away from this outpouring of support, I just lost it. It was like I had not really been able to mourn it properly till that moment and I just broke down. An old rasta dude saw me from the line crying, pointed to me and said "She shed a tear for michael." and I nodded my head like a little kid and was just sobbing. I turned on the radio and there he was again. I cried all the way to the studio.
It was so weird. I have never had this kind of a reaction to a celebrity dying. I'm a little embarrassed and freaked out that I have had such a strong emotional response. I think it may be more than just missing him, but wondering what will come next. Ollie said to me "he's in a better place now..." and part of my had to wonder... Is he? Do all of the good and generous things he did for the world outweigh the darkness that over shadowed his later years? Or are there just some things that aren't forgivable? I am torn. What was it about this super freak of a guy that tugged at my heartstrings so? Was it the memories of looking forward to the making of Thriller every year at Halloween on MTV back when they played music videos? Was it the memories of my big brother and I dancing to Beat It in the hallway and the whole family gathering around the tv to watch him moonwalk? Was it that I could always count on him to pick me up when I was down, and that throughout my life I would continue to learn what the actual lyrics to "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" are? Was it that "You are Not Alone" was playing on the radio at the vets office when we had to put my childhood dog to sleep? Was it that I studied every note and breath he uttered on the Thriller album my whole fucking life? Or was that just it, that he had always been there? Since I was born, Michael Jackson was a staple mood enhancer and has always been much more than a guilty pleasure to me. He was a hero, an inspiration, and at times, like a good friend. Michael Jackson was magic, and the world will never be the same without him.
RIP Michael. You will be missed.