I am not sure why Michael Jackson dying would be different to me than any other celebrity except . . . it is different and I have been trying to put my finger on why.
Maybe it is because Thriller was the first album my friends and I loved together. Maybe it is because we listened to it over and over again on track day at the end of our 8th grade year. Maybe it is because we somehow managed to get a video tape of Beat It and then convinced one of the Jr. High science teachers to let us watch it in his empty classroom, everyday during lunch, for a week. (We had to promise not to scream -no lie.)
I remember moon walking lessons by Laura Larson and one of the Guymon girls trying to record a Michael Jackson concert on T.V. with her video camera and Laurette making us practice the Thriller dance until we all had it down. I remember not liking the Billy Jean video as much as everyone else and I remember standing in the mall in
These memories as well as a million others have been taking turns in my head ever since I got the news of his death and it has made me wonder why in the world I feel any connection with Michael Jackson. After sleeping on it and contemplating about it in the quiet of the morning, I think I understand now what I am feeling.
I realize that have not been thinking about Michael Jackson at all, rather, I am thinking about where the end of my childhood and the beginning of my teenage years intersected. I am thinking of Rachel and Sara and Laura and Laurette and Terry and Jacquie and Chris and J.C. and Lajusta as brand new teenagers and all the silly things we said and did and all our brave but innocent adventures before boys, cars, Depeche Mode and Molly Ringwald took over our collective consciousness.
I guess I didn't recognize until yesterday that I have a hidden affection for Michael Jackson not because of what kind of man he was or that I rock star worshiped him (May 1983 excluded) but because he provided the majority of the background music for all the fun, sweet, happy memories from that time in my life.
The kids are all asleep, they have no idea they are going to spend the morning learning the Thriller dance.