“OH MY GOD. ARE YOU OKAY?”

That was the message that was texted to me over and over and over yesterday.

I LOVE Michael Jackson.  I probably love him an unhealthy amount.

I’m watching a TV that I own because of Michael Jackson.  I went to Budapest because of Michael Jackson.  I even mentioned my habit of solo Michael Jackson dance parties in my Boston Globe blind date.

My friends all know that, and they knew how upset I would be to hear that he passed away yesterday at the age of 50.

Beyond upset.  Devastated.

I don’t have to go into detail about what made Michael amazing — his incredible ability as a performer; his vocal talent and otherworldly dance moves; his influence on fashion and style; his ability to break down barriers; his generous spirit that set a precedent for celebrity philanthropy.

Michael was amazing.

And he made some SICK music.

I’d like to share a few of my favorite Michael stories.

Rocking Halloween

When I was a sophomore in college, I decided to be Michael for Halloween.  This was in 2003, not too long after he dangled the baby over the balcony in Berlin.

As many of you know, I take Halloween VERY seriously.  It’s my favorite holiday.  I always make my own costumes and add every functional detail I can think of.  (I once covered my body with Sharpie for my Amy Winehouse costume and it didn’t wash off for a week.)

Here is my costume:

And while I whitened my face, hemmed my pants, got a fedora and glove and spent a few weeks learning all of the dance moves to Thriller and Smooth Criminal and Billie Jean when I should have been studying philosophy…that’s not what made the costume.  What made this costume was the baby.  I threw it around in the air and flipped it all night.

That won me first prize at Fairfield University.  Oh, and it was one competitive night in terms of costumes!

That won me the TV that sits in my room to this day.

That’s one of my favorite memories of college.

Discovering Budapest

While studying abroad in Florence, my friends and I were deciding where to spend our fall break when I discovered a candy museum in a little town named Szentendre just outside Budapest.

Their star attraction?  The white chocolate statue of Michael Jackson.

mj

I HAD TO SEE IT.  I HAD TO SEE THIS STATUE.

That is what motivated me to convince my friends to make Budapest the first leg of our trip.  (Booking two flights for a total of ONE CENT on WizzAir — NO JOKE — didn’t hurt, either!)

And, you know what?  I loved Budapest.  LOVED it.  To this day, it’s one of my favorite cities.

And it was Michael who brought me there.

Let me finish with a guilty pleasure of my childhood.

Captain EO

Yes, the 80s 3D film from Disney is now on YouTube.

To finish…I’m heartbroken. We’ve lost so much, but his music will live on forever.

Love you, Michael.  May you find the peace you were never able to find here on Earth.

God, I still can’t believe it.

Advertisements