Do you remember your first time? your first time really listening to Michael Jackson and knowing that he was the king? The first time you wore just one white glove on purpose?
I was at Nicole's birthday party, probably third grade. I didn't have hip, musically inclined older siblings (that would be me), so I was maybe late in the game. Nicole did, however, and even though they were from Chile, her older siblings knew EVERYTHING about Michael Jackson. Sure, i'd roller skated to his music at the rink where we'd go for school roller skating parties, but I didn't know much about him. We were at the dining room table, eating cake, and someone put on Michael Jackson. Nicole ran and got her one white glove to put on, and we all started dancing. Some kids could do the moonwalk, and I was soooo jealous. Not so jealous about the crotch grabbing dancing. Nicole's older siblings had SEEN him in concert, and so regaled us with stories about how he used to be in the Jackson Five, and then broke off on his own and became the most famous. I'd had no idea, and this new knowledge about this pop star kind of blew my mind, as did the plastic surgery rumors. He was so strange, and so talented. My parents didn't let us stay up to watch the "Thriller" music video when it came out, but i remember everyone else talking about it, and even my older sister knew about that.
That was my first time really experimenting with MJ.
Then he got all weird and married Lisa Marie Presley (which was also really strange, right?). I lost track of him until one day, I was in Cambodia, riding a bus. It was a long bus ride over rough roads, so someone had the sense to throw in a video. The best possible video ever. Michael Jackson's music videos. There I was with my friend Andy, the only white kids on this bus full of Cambodians and everyone enthralled and singing along to the songs. It was truly one of those moments where we could just turn to each other and say, hey, we are all the same, aren't we? and end all wars.
That's MJ for you, building bridges (except with the whole Never never land thing), bringing people together across the globe. you will be missed.
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