Thursday, June 25, 2009
Yee Hee and Rest In Peace, Michael J.
We were talking about him today, Michael Jackson. I was visiting a friend, walked upstairs, and stumbled upon him swiveling his hips and flailing his arms, singing along to “Get up off that thing”. I joined him: clapped my hands and swung my head. Then, I flung myself onto the bed beside him and he paused to change the song to one by the Jackson five. As I often do when something succeeds to satiate my hunger for awe and delight, I let my eyelids softly fall. I never could understand the enigma that was Michael Jackson. How one so young could have a voice so soulful, mellifluous. How that little black child with skin the warm hue of earth and a beautiful, wide nose ended up with white skin milkier than your average Caucasian and a nose he could hardly breathe through. He was plagued by demons, or something fucked up, that was for sure. But, perhaps someday, under some strange circumstance, I would meet him and know more. The Jackson five was no longer playing, now it was Al Green, but Michael Jackson was still on my mind. As I looked up toward the ceiling, I asked my friend if he knew whether or not Michael had come up with any new album in recent years. Before he answered, I continued. I said, he is going to have an amazing comeback, I know it, and I can’t wait. My comment went unanswered, so I forgot about Michael Jackson and sang aloud to the Al Green song. The room was humid and stuffy and our shirts were sticking to our backs, so we went downstairs and hopped in my car. A few hours later, between placing our food orders and receiving the main dishes during dinner with my boyfriend, he received a text message. It said that Michael Jackson was dead! And I asked my boyfriend if I had heard correctly, and if he had truly said what I thought he had said. He confirmed. Some hours later, I spoke to my friend Jordan, whom I had been with earlier. I told him how naïve I was, thinking that Michael Jackson would actually have this great comeback. His reply made me think, but it still didn’t sway my stance. He said he thought that the demise of Michael Jackson was the greatest comeback at all. I gave it a minute of thought and still disagreed, death was a lame excuse for a comeback. Michael Jackson had failed to burn out, for he had faded away. He went out with everything but a bang: a death by natural causes. What a tragically mundane way to go for the King of Pop. A man who possessed unearthly talent and spooky idiosyncrasies, a man who was never afraid to admit that he never wanted to grow up, who managed somehow to drastically change the color of his skin, a man who seemed so un-human and untouchable, died in the fashion of an average man. I don’t quite think we expected him to ever meet his demise, and if we ever did, we wouldn’t have ever deemed cardiac arrest the proper death for royalty. No matter how the life of Michael Jackson would end, his memory was and is sure to be immortal. Sadly, like the King of Rock and Roll, his legendary persona will be minimized to a mere caricature, a sequin-clad impersonator in Vegas, remembered as an icon, not someone who was once a living, breathing person. It may be cynical, but I believe one hundred percent that it will happen. When his death, though not poetic or legendary by any means should indeed teach us that he was real, a man born and dead under no special circumstance, like any average man.