I am not supposed to be writing this because Michael Jackson was never, ever supposed to die. Ever.
At least according to 12-year-old me. When I was 12, I loved Michael Jackson. Absolute, ridiculous, out of control love. The telephone would ring in the morning, while I was getting ready for school, and it'd be my best friend Beth telling me to turn on VH1 because a Michael Jackson video was playing.
Together we'd watch the video and squeal.
In those days, it was his latest videos, from HIStory. But I had every Michael Jackson video on tape. I'd sit home and record Michael Jackson specials on TV. Watch them, over and over. "Smooth Criminal" was my favorite.
He was a god, to me. Micheal freaking Jackson. Ask my family. My childhood friends. I was obsessed. And you guys know I know how to obsess. This was the ultimate.
Michael was in his 30s then. For 12-year-olds, 30s was old. We used to discuss what would happen when Michael got "old."
OMG, we thought, what will we do if he ever dies? Michael Jackson cannot die. We were children of his era. Well, part of his era. His era spanned longer than I can fathom. Thriller was released the year I was born. There is so much that I missed. We decided right then, Michael Jackson will never die.
Except I'm watching CNN right now. "Remembering Michael Jackson" is flashing across the screen. I just saw his shrouded body loaded into an ambulance. Anderson Cooper just showed a photo of Michael being carried into the ambulance, dead, for the most part.
Michael Jackson is dead.
It makes my stomach a little sick.
Yes, I most certainly am not blind. I've watched his deterioration. A deterioration that began while I was still a child. I absorbed myself in every bit of news, every book, every trial. Since I was a kid, literally. I AM AWARE.
But I still own every album, every song, even remember his birthday, for Christ's sake. The man, despite the reputation, is a musical genius. Brilliant. He shaped an era. He is the King of Pop.
And, I swear to God, this news blows my damn mind. I guess it shouldn't come entirely as a shock. But it does. An absolute, goddamn shock. He was going to go on tour again. I've said, my entire life, that I will see Michael Jackson in concert before I die.
Instead, he died. You've got to be kidding me.
We'll be reading about his death for weeks. I can imagine what will come out in the aftermath. Rumors, drugs, news, shocking stories. Was it suicide? Overdose? The man is bizarre, I get it. He's sick, he's been sick, in many, many ways. And I just said is bizarre. Was. He was, because he's dead now.
Michael Jackson is dead.
It makes no difference to me what became of Michael Jackson, because I can listen to any one of his songs and forget all of it. I can listen to any one of his songs and remember being 12 years old.
Today I am 27. I was eating a Crunchy Chicken Ranch Wrap at McDonald's when I read on Twitter that he'd been rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest. I was in the backroom at work when I learned he'd died. Now I'll remember that. I will always remember that.
Regardless of what the haters say, a goddamn legend died today. A significant part of my childhood went with him. Michael Jackson is dead. I just blogged about it. And nothing I write can actually do any justice to the impact this has on me, or on my 12-year-old self.