I still cannot believe it. This may have been said many times in the last couple of days. Michael Jackson is dead. I asked my husband, 'Why am I so sad??? I do not even know that man!' My husband, as understanding as ever just said to me, 'Well, love, someone just died, I think you are bound to feel that way. Also, the media has made you to feel that way.' Yes, that may have contributed to it. I shed a tear, to be honest, and I am not ashamed to admit it. But I know why. It is not because I love Michael Jackson. It is because I associate him with that part of my childhood when I was crazy over him. It was my lifetime dream to see him perform one day. When I was a teenager, I promised myself to save up to watch one of his concerts someday. Someday. I grew up and realised I could never afford his concerts! And even if I could, there were (and still are) other things that were far more important than his concerts. There are more important things to get from the shop than Michael's CDs and memorabilias so I must admit, I am a fan with no records of Michael. Then I had my son to look after, all the more the dream to one day watch his concert or even just see him in person went all the more bleak.
Then Friday morning, as I was walking along the hall way to get the lift to work, the newspaper on the coffee table caught my eye, 'Michael Jackson dies.' I could not believe it. Then it reminded me the previous night, my husband was telling me someone died as I was drifting back to sleep. I thought I was dreaming. That night, it hit me. Michael Jackson is dead....and my dream died with him. A childhood dream. That's what was hurting.
Not too long ago, I wrote a blog entry on my Friendster Blog with the title, 'When I went crazy over Michael.' I am re-publishing it here on my Blogger as a tribute to one of my oldest favourites, The King of Pop - Michael Jackson.
08 October 2006, Friendster Blog, I wrote:Do you remember falling in love for the first time? I do. It was not with an ordinary person, though…and the sad thing was, he was not even a perfect creation of the male physiology – I mean, not a hundred percent. Let me say, maybe he was, what I may call, androgynous. Yes, I would like to call him that way, which is more respectable. After all, he was part of my life. Although I was never ever part of his. He did not even, and never will, know that I exist. But never mind my existence. I fell head over heels in love with Michael Jackson when I was 14 years old. I was in my 2nd year in high school. I was watching the 26th Grammy Awards in 1984. That was the year he won two awards – one was the Record of the Year Award for his song ‘Beat It’ and two, the Album of the Year Award for his album ‘Thriller.’ He performed live and I was so enthralled. Captivated by his charm. I got addicted and bought all the ‘songhits’ I could find to know all of his songs and see all the photographs I could get. I would spend my full week’s allowance only to buy good-for-nothing photos and posters of him. I had a huge collection of his cutout photographs and I knew almost all of his most popular songs. There was only one thing I did not do – I did not write to him. Hhmmm…why didn’t I do that?
Since it’s autumn and I’m awfully homesick…let me go down memory lane and take you to the time when I was only forteen. Never been kissed, never been touched. Let me share with you something that I never thought I’d be sharing with my friends one day…so before I change my mind about this whole thing, here you go…
My insanity lasted the whole time I was in high school. Those were really crazy years. My father used to tell me, ‘When you get older, you will realize just how funny you are at this age…you will laugh at yourself.’ I felt bad that my own father – the one person that knew how much I loved Michael did not take me seriously. I remember telling him, ‘No, you don’t understand, Tay. I will never ever get married if it isn’t Michael that I’m going to marry!’ He just laughed at me. Who wouldn’t? That was the daftest thing to say, wasn’t it? At that time, of course, I was dead serious.
When I reached college, though, someone stole my heart from Michael. Hold your breath, because this time it is even crazier – baduy kaayo! Oh yes, he was the man of my dreams! The man who stole my heart from Michael was Robbie Rosa of Menudo. Now do you ever remember this Puerto Rican group called Menudo that made many young girls scream their heads off in the Philippines? Once again, I fell head-over-heels in love with the boy. I did the same things I did when I was crazy over Michael. I collected photographs, songs - memorized all of them by heart - and danced to the tunes when no one was watching. When Robbie Rosa was kicked out of Menudo because of the ‘age rule’, the madness did not stop – my madness, that is. I waited for more to come…and something came. I was ready to do something more than just collecting photographs. He made a movie called ‘Salsa.’ I almost died when I heard he was coming back to Manila! When he did, yes oh yes, I rushed to GMA-7 to see him! There were so many young girls outside the studio waiting for him when my friend and classmate, Ellen, and I arrived at the gate. Surprisingly, when we got there, I was not too excited. I didn’t know why. I was holding my camera but as I looked around, I started to think. I saw these many girls going uncontrollably mental over one handsome human being who did not even know of their existence on the planet. One ‘demigod-like’ creature who didn’t even know that at that very moment some of them didn’t have a meal just to get there early to get a glimpse of him. I was watching and I saw myself in each one of them…a young girl so enthralled, so mesmerized, or should I say hypnotized by this celebrity’s charm!
My thoughts were interrupted when finally, the Demigod arrived! He was absolutely gorgeous! As soon as I saw him, I knew right away the reason why I fell for him. He looked just like Michael. What a resemblance. Then he was mobbed. You won’t believe this but I just stood right there, side by side with the security personnel. He was trying to protect Robbie Rosa from the screaming crazy crowd and I was there watching. I almost forgot about the camera but as soon as I remembered, I clicked away. When Robbie walked past me, I could not stop myself. I had to at least touch him. Insane but true. So, I reached out and slightly touched his chin. Then, I heard one girl say, ‘She’s so lucky she was able to touch him!’ I turned and saw, not a baduy-looking girl but an attractive, fair-skinned, mestiza lass. I could not believe my eyes that a young girl as beautiful as she was would waste her time for Robbie Rosa! I was starting to realize something. When the photographs were printed out, I wasn’t on any of it, naturally, because I was the one with the camera. There… all the photographs revealed the madness and delirium of it all. I could not admit to myself that I was one of these girls – going gaga over one Robbie Rosa…on one of the photographs, there was that mestiza lass, whose face did not leave me for quite a long time – she was almost drooling over Robbie, her face almost crying…begging. If this pretty lady could not get Robbie’s attention with her looks and all, how could I even make him glance at me? With all of these young women shrieking, yelping and wailing to get his attention, would he even realize there’s a ‘Len’ out there??? Well, even if he knew, would he care? Of course not. We were not even friends! I could see the insanity. Very clearly. It made no sense. I had to stop. I couldn’t let myself be one of those crazy girls. No way!
But for a few more years, I held on to the songhits and collection of photographs that I had. Then when I got really fed up of them because they got very old and started to fade, I burned them all. Including Michael’s. As for Robbie’s photographs, I gave them all to Ellen. I told my self over and over, ‘I can do better than collecting photographs of Michael and Robbie. I can read better books than songhits…’ (errr, I know songhits are not books…so forget I said that). I was finally over Michael. I was finally over Robbie. Thank God for that. P.S. Oh, okay, okay, I admit – I am listening to Michael’s ‘Will you be there’ as I write this. Don’t give me that look. What am I supposed to do? It is an addiction. I can’t help it!