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Monday, June 29, 2009

My Mike


I know it's been a few days, and many people are already getting over it, moving on.

People are back to enjoying summer and living life.

And, so am I, basically.

But, I think of him a little everyday (maybe b/c my iPod is set on Man in the Mirror, and I don't have the willpower to NOT listen when it comes up).

Whatever the reason, I can't imagine a musical world without Mike (yeah, I call him Mike, we were close like that).

It's like imagining a movie theater without buttery popcorn.

It's like going to a ballgame and not hearing the National Anthem before the opening pitch.

It's wrong.

Despite the fact that Mike spent the last years of his life as a crazy, almost unrecognizable, colorless shell of his former on top of the world self, he was still an international sensation, an idol, an icon, really.

So, it's taken me a few days to wrap my head around this whole thing: Mike is dead. Not dead like Elvis (who is apparently not actually dead), dead like, dead.

When I heard the news I felt... strange.

Actually, I did my usual I-didn't-know-him-I-really-don't-care routine; I made a couple of jokes to BFF.

And then, I turned on the radio, and I started to feel... more strange.

And, as I drove home I felt my face get hot, and my stomach get tight, and tears started to drop into my lap.

And, I realized I didn't feel strange, I felt... sad.

But, I couldn't put my finger on why.

Other than the occasional cuing up of one of his hits on the iPod from time to time, Mike has only recently entered my mind in the form of a tasteless joke or sensational story.

I haven't even seen any photos of him lately. So, what's with the tears?

Could have just been an emotional week for me (I tend to have those more often these days), but I'd like to think it was more than that ('cause I like to at least pretend I'm deep).

I decided that it is; I'm not a completely shallow me-monster (usually, but not always).

I'm sad for his kids, and his mother and father and sisters and brothers.

I'm sad for all of his friends and relatives who didn't just see formerly-black-but-mysteriously-white-where-did-he-get-that-nose-please-tell-me-this-is-a-joke Mike.

And, I'm sad for me (it really is quite possibly ALWAYS at least partially about me isn't it?).

Because, Mike was my first love. My jheri-curled-silver-gloved-super-fast-footed-sexually-ambiguous first love.

He taught me that I like boys (or at least people who claim to be).

He taught me how to effectively obsess (as I carried him with me from room to room in the form of a record on my trusty Fisher Price portable record player) over a boy until neither he, nor anyone else, could stand hearing his name one more time.

He taught me there really were kids starving in Africa (hey, I was only 7 when We Are the World came out).

And, he taught me that not only do I love boys, but I love music and dancing; a love that I share with my boys every time I get the chance (which is always as I make it a point to dance in my kitchen, to their horror, daily).

This is the Mike I will miss; the Mike I fell in love with.

The leather-jacketed-moonwalking-penny-loafered-OMG-is-he-on-fire? Mike whose stickers I collected when I got so attached to him in the early eighties.

The Mike who starred in that strange Bad video/movie (remember? Mike played Darryl) that I watched an embarrassing number of times.

The Mike who inspired, influenced, and basically made so many of the artists I am a fan of today.

Because that's the Mike I know and remember.

That's the Mike my kids have grown to love.

And, that's the Mike that made me cry on Thursday (and, maybe a little on Friday, and even as I watched parts of the inefficient, but at times touching, tribute on BET last night).

So please enjoy the video; just try not to cry.

15 comments:

Mommy of Many said...

I too love Mike. He was all my young little heart hoped and dreamed of, a man with who could sing and dance and wear sparkly clothing. He will be missed.

TKW said...

I think a lot of us were sad. For me, I just felt the loss of what he USED to be...how it seemed like he died inside years ago. I like to think he's finally happy somewhere.

Shannon said...

The good thing about it all is that we still have his music that WILL live on forever and ever!

BlogBaby said...

Unfortunately my supply of tears has already been used up so no tears left to cry for Mike. I will try and muster up a sad face just for you though dummy mommy.

BlogBaby

Kathy B! said...

I wasn't nearly as close to Mike as you were, but I was saddened by his passing. It seemed as though he was in pain for the last many years and I hope he's at peace now.

And I finally got you on the blogroll... Wanna put me on yours?!

Isabel Princes said...

My sister and I watched that movie probably more than any human should have. My favorite scene was when he was dancing with the little pizza hut guy. Oh and joe pesci has some weirdo future gangsta lol.

Connie Weiss said...

Mike was the first poster on my wall when I was 12. I was in total love with him and his music provided the soundtrack to much of my teen years.

Alicia said...

i loved your post! and i tried to watch the video without crying....made it about half way... it's still so crazy to think about!

GypsyFox said...

what a wonderfully written post, I felt the same way when I found out..gosh what a SHOECKEr hu? I must say I LOVE your blog title & your boys are beautiful! following from MBC :) have a lovely day

klawellin said...

Hi...I would Love to follow!
I from the MBC 100.

My link is...www.thelawellinfamily.blogspot.com

Thanks!
Kimberly

KnitterMama said...

I am strangely sad about michael jackson too. for me, i just never expected him to die. it was as if he was just going to get stranger and stranger and then go from flesh to plastic and become some sort of statue--not die. MJ does not die. What an icon. What a tremendously influential, incredibly messed up-please-tell-me-this-is-a-joke (in your words) man. What a loss for us.

Mira is triplet crown said...

Well I'm clearly older than you but I'll get over it. MJ was my high school dreamboat and I had a tshirt and earring combo outfit with his Thriller album look on them and I loved that centerfold on the Thriller album with the baby leopard or whatever. Oh, I loved that boy. I just felt really sad for him that he never seemed to find rest and happiness.

thatgirlblogs said...

I don't know how the people around him let him go so far in every way. his looks, his life, the drugs... why?

human nature ;(

Clueless_Mama said...

I thought that was a great tribute to Michael. (I can't call him Mike. We weren't tight like that) I love his music and will never forget him either. I remember my crush on him growing up! I saw your post on another site, what did you think about the bachelorette tonight?

Kristin said...

Every time we lose someone that I find synonymous with my childhood it makes me feel a little older. At least he left us with his music. My little man is going to rock out to Thriller!

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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