It feels odd when the icons of one’s youth die. It makes me feel terribly old, for one thing.
I got within 10 feet of Michael Jackson once. It was back in 1980, or maybe ’81, at a post-Grammy party at a restaurant in Los Angeles somewhere. He was with his date Brooke Shields. I was with my dad. I told him I wanted to meet Michael and we were working our way through the crowd trying to get close enough. But they were leaving the party and a throng of handlers, bodyguards and normally jaded music industry types had them surrounded. It was as if the entire party was following him out the door; wherever he was going, they wanted to go, too. There was this sea of people all moving one way and we couldn’t get close enough.
I remember thinking Brooke looked tall, elegant, and terrified. Michael Jackson seemed more sanguine about it all, as if he was used to the commotion, expected it even. I looked him in the eye and tried to imagine what living with this kind of commotion could do to one’s psyche. I think the ensuing decades answered that question for us.
Watching the media reaction to Michael Jackson’s death has been nothing short of ghoulish, but entirely expected. The guy who couldn’t leave an industry party 30 years ago without riveting every person’s attention could not leave this world without causing the same reaction.
It’s weird but I feel like Farrrah Fawcett has been ripped off, a footnoot to the Michael Jackson circus. Mark Sanford, of course, must be breathing a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, on the homefront, we had to put Boomer to sleep on Wednesday night, and yesterday morning I walk into the kitchen to find our other dog, Zelda, collapsed on the floor. Turns out she had somehow ruptured a disc in her neck. So yesterday was spent rushing her to our vet, then to a surgical specialist in Cool Springs. The prognosis, thank God, is good, but we will know more today.
I'm just glad this week is over.