People have been awaiting some sort of statement (epilogue, if you will) from me regarding the passing of legend Michael Jackson. As many people know personally, Michael Jackson was my hero growing up and I absolutely adored him. It wasn't easy and I avoided it for the longest time since his passing. I stopped listening to his music because it was too painful for me to hear. I chose not to keep up to date with details postmortem, and I just couldn't bring myself to hear his name.
For me, he was more than an entertainer. I first got my taste in 1989, when I was 2 (almost 3). I will still never forget it - my mom was showing me the music video to Thriller. At first it was scary - I didn't want to watch it. The next day my mom remembers me walking in the room to the music video again (my mom was a huge fan as well) and then we started dancing to it. Haha, obviously I wasn't dancing, more like jiggling around, but the point was that from that moment on, he was it. For me, I grew up in the era post-Thriller, post-Bad. The 90's were a very bad time for him with the press, and I got a lot of flack for it. Growing up, it wasn't easy to hear other kids make fun of me or MJ. I didn't understand most of it until around 5th or 6th grade, but I never listened. When I watched Moonwalker around 5th grade, I was engulfed in it. I loved it. I watched it over and over. Michael Jackson was my hero, he was invincible. Here he was, defeating drug dealers and saving the day from mob thugs. It was a hard time for me because I really took a lot of hurt and I wanted to be just like him - invincible. I couldn't stand the people who talked bad about him. I didn't see what they saw. I either didn't look, or didn't understand. I was the only kid I knew who had Moonwalker for Genesis in those days. I still wish I had it..
And then when I hit high-school everything took a turn. None of the kids liked him, and I was really ridiculed for it. I found a niche', but it was constant. It got to the point where I would fight with others over what they would say. To them they might've been joking or whatever, but to me it was deeply personal. I fought for my hero. I loved his music, I loved MJ as a person. When he started changing his appearance (ironically it turned into some sort of foreshadowing for me) was when I got it the worst. I never cared about that. But other people did and it pissed me off to no end. Here was a great entertainer and performer, who donated millions to charities, and even befriended a kid with AIDS who couldn't find other friends...what is there to hate in that? Why did people hate him so much? What did he ever do wrong?
I was like that in highschool. I had the looks, smarts, and all that other shit to fit in with the "popular" crowds, but I never chose to. And I sure got a lot of crap over that too, but beside the point: I would find the kids who were singled out, who didn't have friends or just wanted someone to talk to. The group I hung out with are still the ones I'm around, and that I love and trust with all of my life, and some of them were those kids who were verbally and physically trashed in school because they were nerds, or something equivalent. I loved seeing the look on their faces, or inviting them out to play football or Smash Bros or something like that. It truly warmed me up in my heart and it will never be replaced. Most of the time they didn't stick around in my close group, but when they were there I could tell they adored every second, that it changed their lives. And when someone like MJ did it, he was verbally trashed for it. He did not deserve it. He had a rough life and the people who don't care to listen would never understand. I know how he felt, and I know how that kid felt who ended up dying later. It can be anyone, all you have to do is talk to them and connect with them. It's not hard if you have a big heart. And he had a very big one, something most regular people misunderstand.
After MJ passed, these very same people who once talked shit, who threatened to kick my ass and all this other stuff those years ago, started befriending his profile, adding his music, getting all sad and shit...nonsense! These kids were the contributors to why he had a rough life in his later years, and for them to go back on it because everyone else joined in is fucking stupid. I was upset for many days over that. I took so much trash, I didn't believe a word of any of that crap the tabloids spilled, while everyone did, and here they were, acting like true fans. They aren't. They will never be, but at least he's being celebrated. They will never understand.
But I did. And it destroyed me that he passed. All of the ways to contact me were flooded the moment other people found out - my work alone got calls all day from people I haven't talked to in years to relay me the news. Others were asking if I was okay, to watch over me in case I decided to do anything stupid. But I didn't. But when a childhood hero goes away, a part of you dies too. My friends even called me MJ at times, mostly to my similar appearance as far as my hair and personality went, but I always loved that nickname. Now it's a little weird to hear, but I understand why they continue to call me that.
I went into a deep absorb, and I know it was not that long ago but to me it felt like an eternity ago. But I just recently got out of it, because I know Michael Jackson wouldn't want anyone to feel sad or hurt themselves over him, and I know he would've wanted people to celebrate and be happy, and thankful. For me, I'm thankful I had such an awesome hero, and he will continue to be something I'll hold dearest to me.
I never got a chance to say anything, because I never have, but with some help from my friend Eddie, I can now listen to his music, look at his pictures, and let that part back into my heart. I can't thank you enough dude! =)
In closing, don't be so quick to judge someone based on media or word of mouth. Look past that and find the person who they are on the inside. It does wonders. For me, I found a compassionate, funny, loving, true hero that will never be replaced, and even though I've never met him, it's what they stand for, and what they love that sticks to you. You can expect a few nods to him in Hypertension as it comes along.
I love you Michael Jackson, always. You were the true King of all Kings. Farewell, and I hope you find the peace you constantly desired.