I know I’m supposed to post the continuing exploits of Pierre Bonsoirno and his jungle adventures (Pierre Bonsoirno is what I call my husband when he’s being unbearably French—guess you just have to read my book Sex, Cheese & French Fries for more details), but I can’t stop thinking about Michael Jackson.
I spent the better part of last Sunday staring into my computer screen, watching old videos of the King of Pop, a/k/a Voice of my Childhood, doing his thing—being his bad, kickass, dancing machine, crotch grabbing, squealing self, and feeling nostalgic at his disappearance off the face of the earth. When I mentioned growing up with MJ to a woman in her early thirties, she surprised me by saying that she’d grown up with him, too, only in a different era. Michael Jackson stood the test of time.
Remember Never Can Say Goodbye, I’ll Be There, I want You Back and The Love You Save by The Jackson Five? The four other bros were cool, but MJ was the main deal—he was the lead, after all. And everyone talks about Billie Jean and Thriller, which were definitely fabulous and historic, but does anyone remember The Lady in My Life? I was driving along on the freeway in Miami the day I first heard it, and that song made me want to pull over and cry. In fact, a friend of mine said she did exactly that when she heard it. Sigh.
I remember listening to a couple of morning DJ’s one time, right after, or right smack in the middle of that awful child molestation trial. MJ had just come out with a new song (I can’t remember which one) and they’d just played it. As usual, it was the kind of song that made you want to jump out of your car at a red light and swivel your hips, snap your fingers and attempt some fancy footwork, all with your eyes closed. At the end of the song, I held my breath, waiting for the snark to start; but it didn’t. All they could do was gloat and clap their hands and talk about how the guy rocked, just r-o-c-k-e-d! And I thought, Yeah! For a moment, I forgot about all the seamy allegations and enjoyed the MJ, who belongs in the company of Picasso, Marvin Gaye and Hemingway—all those greats with shady personal histories. You don’t necessarily want to be in their lives, but you sure don’t want to go to your grave without having known their talent. Be well, Michael, wherever you are.