I was making a late-night dumpster run on July 3 (because I had forgotten that the city didn’t do trash pickup that day), when I heard over the local public radio station this: The Story’s “Dance Lessons from Michael.”
Everything that Joanne Spencer said about Michael Jackson, especially realizing that, with his death, her childhood had long since ended, and yet she desired to share this bit of her childhood — her love for Michael Jackson’s music and dancing — with her own children… everything that she said made me almost cry. (I didn’t but… almost.)
It made me remember seeing “Thriller” for the first time: it was a Halloween party filled with Filipino friends and family members. It was 1983, in Grand Prairie, Texas, and I was eleven. All of us little kids tried to mimic the dance moves. He was AWESOME.
It was odd, but a week before his death, I had the Jackson 5’s “ABC” going on repeat in my head, and I had thought at the time, “I need to get that album — it’s such happy music.”
Yes, he got weird — very very weird — as time went by. I feel mixed about his personal life: his family, his inappropriate relationships with young children, his prescription drug addiction, his plastic surgeries. But his music and his dancing — how unconditionally lovely and joyful they are, in spite of everything else.
In spite of everything else. Dance Lessons from Michael. Yes, indeed.