My best friend in high school had this poster on her wall, right where we could lie on her water bed and stare at it, dreamy-eyed, for hours. It was 1983. I wonder if she still has it, stored away in some dark place with all the other relics of youth. Seeing it now, I can almost feel the adolescent idolatrous idealist inside of me.
Last night, I danced with two friends to a whole set of nothing but Michael Jackson tunes, at a Denver club where most of the patrons were half our age. They ate sushi; I ate edamame. We were overdressed and didn't give a shit, because we were all wearing something that made us happy. The young men could tell we were dancing in our own little worlds, and they mostly seemed to respect that somehow, even as they joined in. Smiles and just plain fun all around.
Tonight, my sons and I stayed up way past our bedtimes, watching videos of "Beat It" (followed, of course, by "Eat It", at which they laughed hysterically), "Billie Jean", "ABC", and others. A cultural history lesson via youtube. Tomorrow morning, when night has turned to day once again, and the world feels just a little bit safer, we will watch "Thriller". Zombies. Dancing. How could that NOT be good?! Revolutionary, even.
It's all pretty messed up, I know, what with the whole Michael Jackson corpse extravaganza thing and all. Believe me, I KNOW people die every single goddamn day from all sorts of causes: some naturally tragic, some insanely stupid, others completely preventable.
But I really can't get all worked up about either the fanaticism of it all, or the criticism of it all.
All that matters to me, at this moment, is that he be remembered for his music. And the memories he has gifted, at great expense to himself, to an entire generation. That was some kinda magic. Let us all be judged on what we did well. On whatever bit of magic we managed to bring into the world.
I have been contemplating my beige-walled kitchen for awhile. Someday soon, I will go out and search for the perfect yellow: the yellow of Michael Jackson's sweater vest.