Goodnight, Thriller

michael_jackson_7Two entirely different generations were utterly crushed last night by the tragic deaths of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. These two people were epic icons in pop culture and almost like American royalty. They set the standards for future movie stars and musicians, and entered every teenager’s bedroom through either the television or radio.

Last night, after the news of Jackson’s death, a group of friends and I got drunk on a rooftop listening to Thriller on vinyl. It wasn’t the classiest of tributes to make to a pop legend, but at the time, it was the only way we knew how. My one friend, more so than the others, was absolutely crushed. He wouldn’t talk to any of us and had already made plans to call out of work the next day, devoting all of his time to designing a silkscreen t-shirt  as a way of paying homage to his hero. 

When I heard the news, I likened the feelings I got to the emotions I felt when I got my first real taste of death at the age of five. The family dog, Tristie, had been put-down and as a child of that age, the magnitude of the situation did not fully absorb into my heart or head. It didn’t feel real because at five years old, I could not yet comprehend death. 

I feel the same way about this loss. It is still sinking in through my skin. I cannot fathom nor can I understand the effect it is going to have on the world. All I know, is that last night, on that rooftop, under a summer moon, all I wanted to do was listen to Billie Jean and dance.


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