I rolled up the windows and waited in the passenger side of my cousin’s gray beaten down Toyota Corolla in downtown Miami. Since I was alone, I quickly connected my iPod to the car’s power port and selected ‘Play’ on the song I knew by heart, that I had listened to hundreds of times since it first came out in 1995. Soon the wispy notes of a piano, guitar, and his hauntingly beautiful voice wafted all around me, holding me close in a cloud of loss. Spread out on my lap before me was the New York Times dated June 26, 2009, with Michael Jackson’s regal red coat, aviator sunglasses, jet black hair and his effulgent smile looking out at me, barely any distance between us.
“Another day has gone and I’m still all alone, how could this be… you’re not here with me.”
I had known one day this day would come. I remember I even tried to imagine to myself how I would feel, how the world would react to losing the biggest household name and entertainer that ever lived, but I couldn’t do it. It just felt too strange. But here it is, it happened; and it still feels so strange to acknowledge a world without the King of Pop, to listen to his songs and realize that he is gone for good. I grew up with Michael Jackson’s legendary videos constantly on MTV and had sleepless nights because of his Thriller video. I procrastinated with Billie Jean on my headphones and grew a great attachment to his persona and his god-given talents. Unfortunately I never had the chance to see him perform live in person but I was hoping to this year in London. I’m jealous of the people who say “Yes, I’ve been to a Michael Jackson concert” because that fact alone, has so much value. While my sisters were fawning over Michael Jackson with his sequined white glove and his moonwalk during the Bad World Tour in 1988 (the biggest tour by a solo performer that broke multiple records and turnout at venues; he set a new Guinness World Record with seven sold-out concerts), I was left behind at home. Eight years old, wearing a fedora hat, I spun and flipped my arms the way he did it, capping it off with the crotch-grabbing move. Oh, he was incredible.
We all saw it…