Saturday, June 27

Michael and me

Michael Jackson died on Thursday, June 25, 2009. I had just heard on the radio that he was in a coma when my friend texted me and said that he had died. My first reaction was “huh… that’s weird.” It really wasn’t until Friday evening that I really thought about it. No matter what Michael’s life deteriorated into, back in the 80’s and early 90’s he was untouchable. Not only did he impact the music and music video industries, but he impacted my life as well. So many memories, but just to list a few…

1. Michael Jackson was the first man I ever loved – as much as a young teenager can, anyway.

2. I had to have sleep tests done at the local hospital one Saturday, and I was not allowed to sleep the night prior to the tests. My parents said I could rent some movies to help me stay awake. I rented Lili (GREAT old movie) and The Making of Thriller. It’s amazing how long “all night” is to a young teenager. I must have watched Thriller 5 or 6 times that night (of course, trying to do all the dance moves along with the video).

3. My friend Kristen slept over one Friday night so we could stay up late and watch Friday Night Videos to see the music video of Beat It (yes, this was WAY back in the olden days when a. MTV played videos but b. MTV was not a free channel). Of course, since that’s the video we cared about, it was the very last one they played that night (I think Friday Night Videos started at midnight and lasted until 1:30 or something). We loved it!!

4. 1984 is the only year I’ve ever watched the Grammy Awards (and I watched the ENTIRE show).

5. I used to buy every magazine possible that contained pictures of Michael Jackson – my room was plastered in posters, pictures, etc. I might have been a little obsessive, but heck, I was a teenager.

6. When I learned that Michael Jackson was a vegetarian, I thought I’d try it out – much to my mom’s dismay, as she prepared the meals. I don’t know how long it lasted, because I really do like meat. ☺

7. In 1984, my father was in a car accident that left him a partial quadriplegic for the rest of his life. He was in intensive care for quite awhile, and for awhile we weren’t sure whether he’d make it or not. Even after he left intensive care, he was in the hospital for almost a year. Being a Michael Jackson fan provided me with something stable that I needed at a time when my life was anything but.

You can laugh, mock, whatever you want, but I am a Michael Jackson fan. And, as I mourn Michael Jackson, I mourn, at the same time, a time gone by. Actually, better said, as I celebrate Michael Jackson I celebrate, at the same time, a time gone by. Thank you, Michael, for all you gave me. I hope you are finally at peace.