My friends, family, and especially my two daughters know how much I love my MJ (Michael Jackson, if you really have to ask). Even my daughters’ friends tease me about it. At one sleepover, Leni’s friend June, upon spotting my MJ pajama top, said, “You’re really obsessed with Michael Jackson aren’t you? That’s kind of bizarre.”
Yes, lovely June, at age 10, was a bit precocious, but, perhaps not far off the mark. It’s not like I live in a home stuffed with MJ memorabilia, but when he passed away, I pulled out the box in my basement stuffed with magazines, two MJ dolls (still in the box), t-shirts, pins and MJ trading cards, and kept a few things out around the house to remind me of him, and his greatness as an entertainer.
I had loved Michael since I was eight, and when I was a mature ten years old, I conjured up all kinds of fantasies on how we would meet and then marry. This is my favorite, one that I thought up when my family was planning a vacation to California, and the one I thought had the most chance of working:
Michael is coincidentally staying at the same hotel as us; performing nearby, I suppose. My parents and sisters conveniently busy by the hotel swimming pool and feeling perfectly fine with their ten-year old going off on her own, I zipper up my terry cloth robe, traipse through the marble lobby, brush aside a feathery palm plant and push the lobby elevator UP button. The doors open and there is Michael all alone except for his body-guard, who isn’t paying any attention to us.
“Hi,” he says softly from beneath his fluffy afro, his pointy-collar polyester shirt glistening under the glow of fluorescent spots of light.
“Hi,” I say back, fingering my robe and studying the pink daisies on my flip-flops, not able to meet his eyes. “I love your music.”
“Thanks. Would you like to dance with me?” he asks, wrapping his cocoa fingers around my cream-colored hands.
The elevator doors glide open and we dance out onto a honeysuckle cloud, Never Can Say Goodbye, our soundtrack, and just like Cinderella we get married, because every young girl knows that first dances lead to marriage the very next day.