June 25th, 2009 – The Day The Music Died


Dedicated to the one and only, Michael Joseph Jackson.

This was a note I posted on my Facebook the day Michael headed for the clouds:

“Whenever somebody was making fun of you, I was there for you, defending you. You started my passion for music, and I always thought of you whenever I got discouraged. I’ve basically held you in my heart since I started my obsession in 6th grade. I danced your dance, twice live, and every time I dance. I danced with a person at prom that I at the time liked, but now hate, in your name. I danced on my living room table while no one was home and got weird looks from a neighbor when he knocked on the door. I recorded myself singing your songs. I told EVERYONE that my favorite musician was, is, and will always be you. I basically had a media blackout for the last few years because I didn’t want to hear the bull shit said about you. I own all your videos, moonwalker, books, and recorded the J5 movie and other concerts of you. I’m sitting here watching the news and it still feels like I’m in a dream about you. The first person I talked to about you today was my ex. I’m sick to my stomach thinking about how people are going to praise you now that you’ve passed when they talked shit for the last twenty years. I’m not sure what I’m going to do without you.”

Jermaine and Michael: one my favorites

Jermaine and Michael: one my favorites

Those that know me very well know that Michael Jackson has been my favorite musician since before I can remember. He’s untouchable. June 25th continues to play through my head like a bad dream at any chance it gets. My most vivid memory continues to haunt me…

It was a regular Thursday of going to work followed by relaxation by the pool. I had not seen any source of media all day. My phone was inside all day…

Around 6 o’clock pm, I finally came inside to see I had been bombarded with text messages from friends and four calls from my best friend. What is going on? Shock filled my body as the realization set in. Tears came strong. CNN had not yet confirmed his death, but Facebook had. Not only did I have to sit there and wonder if my idol was alive or dead, but I had to read what everyone was saying about him online.

I talked to a few friends online while I called “my best friend of ten years,” Eryn Spangler, crying my eyes out. We both sat there in disbelief as she consoled me. She is the one who knows me better than myself. She knows how deeply I loved him. I didn’t respond to text messages of sympathy until days later. My status read “don’t talk to me.” I took a bubble bath and listened to his music.

After I had been downstairs on the couch watching coverage for about ten minutes, my Mom walked in and studied my face. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Didn’t you see the news?” I asked through a weak voice. “What!” she said in distress. “Michael Jackson died!”

For the remainder of the night I sat on the couch like a slug as I watched EMTs carry Michael’s body bag to some type of van. I watched as reporters praised the icon they once cracked jokes about. I, with the rest of the world, sat there, wondering in shock. I felt completely alone… My dad sat with me for hours without saying a word. He knew.

The world had stopped. Every news station was covering the same story (as well as honoring Farrah). Music channels were playing his videos and music stations were playing his songs. All I could do was sit there with my emotions running around me. I told both Eryn and my Mom that what upset me the most was the hypocrisy that was to follow throughout the next few weeks. “I’ve known for so many years what these hypocrites are just now realizing!” The fact that I’ve been searching for memorabilia all these years also lit a rage in me. Now EVERYONE across the map will be lining up to get his or her Michael Jackson CDs, DVDs, and memorabilia! It’s ironic how suddenly fickle people can change their minds.

My ink

My ink

Close up

Close up

This summer has made me question every aspect of my life. Bob Dylan once said “I went over my whole life. I went over my whole childhood. I didn’t talk to anyone for a week after Elvis died…” That is how I feel. Michael has inspired me in indescribable ways. He first lit a spark in me as I listened to HIStory. From there I gathered every studio album and let his words flow through me. I walked with him for a part of his journey. I’m proud to say I never gave in to the rumors and the jokes. I stood by him. In reality, everyone talks about others behind their backs. I never ONCE did this to Michael. I held him on a pedestal while others questioned my motives. I wore one glove to school during the winter months and was called crazy. 🙂

I will always miss him, but he holds a very tender place in my heart. And when we meet some day in another lifetime, I’ll smile and he’ll know my love.

Rest as ease, friend.
“Smile.”

Michael Jackson Opus

Photo Credit: Glasses, Jermaine & Michael, My personal photos

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