Friday, June 26, 2009

To say that I liked Michael Jackson while growing up is an understatement. I was obsessed with him. I used to day dream while looking outside my fourth grade classroom window, while kicking in swim practice, while laying in bed at night, that I was riding on the Pirates of Caribbean with him. Supposedly, he had this very ride recreated for him at Neverland. (not sure if this is true, but a little girl can dream right?) It was just the two of us in a boat, gliding through the calm water. For some reason, this was my dream.

I remember in that same 4th grade classroom, hiding my absolute favorite and tattered issue of ‘Dynamite’ magazine, with MJ gracing the cover, in my desk. Every few minutes, I would open my desk and peek inside, just to make sure he was still with me. And then I would smile. This didn’t go unnoticed. Ms. Winer caught me one day, and I remember how humiliated I was when she opened my desk and pulled out the magazine, waving it around and asking, “Sara, what is this? Do you want to share it with the rest of the class?” Flushing bright red, I was speechless. But, inside I was screaming, “NO, he is MINE.” She took him away from me, for home period at least.

I remember meeting a childhood friend for the first time at a park. Awkward that we were thrust together to play without ever having seen each other before, the first words out of my mouth were, “do you like Michael Jackson?” When she replied that she did, I knew that a longtime friendship had been born.

I remember being so envious of Monica, who showed up to school for Halloween, wearing a replica of Michael’s famous red leather jacket and glove. It was the icing on her Halloween costume. I was a Michael Jackson monster, complete with afro mask and all.

And, I remember when Thriller came out. I remember sitting for hours and hours, listening to the whole record over and over until I knew all the songs and all the words to all the songs. I did this with every record and tape I bought. I had to know the words. But, this was different. I loved every song and would just sit and listen to the album, singing along to the lyrics printed on the inside sleeve, gazing longingly at the picture of him, sprawled out holding tightly onto a Tiger. I wanted to be that Tiger.

I remember the many times, driving in the well aged, rust colored 280Z with my mom, when Thriller would come on the radio. I would ask to adjust the volume, and then I would sing at the top of my lungs. Every word. I knew every single word.

These are the memories that I have of Michael Jackson, before all the allegations, the surgeries, the baby dangling. While I was aware of these things, they never tarnished my image of him. He was my idol, my childhood hero, my crush. And, today, I am crushed.


amy said...

a sweet blog

Robin said...

Makes me wonder who our kids will choose for their pop culture heroes. :)

Monica said...

ahahah yeah! I remember that halloween! And Mary Ellen Herman was wearing the hoop skirt as my "girlfriend!" and I was in blackface...with curlers in my hair. Was it offfensive even if I was in llove with him?