Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Michael - My Magic Potion
I often ask myself why I have stuck with Michael so faithfully for so many years and through so many changing phases of my life. From the very first time I saw him on a poster at a friend’s house in the early eighties just before he embarked on the Victory Tour with his brothers, through my tumultuous teenage years, where so much was going on at the same time, through my years as a college student, through pregnancy, married life, ups and downs…
Michael was - and remains – a constant presence in my life.
Is it unnatural? Immature? A little nutty perhaps?
I am sure some people, especially those untouched by Michael’s special kind of magic, would say that it is, and I understand. To an outsider, a married woman in her forties, who never let go of her teenage heartthrob, must look a little ridiculous, if not pathetic. However, since they are so quick to judge, they fail to see the whole truth.
To me, Michael is so much more than a teenage heartthrob, a pretty face on my wall, an idolized figure.
Yes, it started out that way - as I am sure it did with most of his other female followers too. There was something so irresistibly appealing about that young man, who looked down at me with his doe eyes from that Jacksons poster that I just had to know more about him. Preferably everything…
Of course, in my preteen naivety, I had no idea that my new found, brown eyed love interest was a very private person and that I would spend decades trying to peel back layer after layer in my search of the “true Michael.”
I am still peeling, in case you want to know.
Anyway, even if I had known that I had just embarked on a life-long project, I do not think it would have lessened my enthusiasm. Nothing could have, because it was love at first sight, the kind of love that short-circuits reason and any sense of realism whatsoever, knocks you off your feet and sends you flying high on a pink, sticky-sweet, cotton candy like Cloud Nine.
Michael was my first love.
Not the boy next door or someone from school… No, it was Michael. Michael Jackson of all people.
I cannot help but smile as I write this. Hormone stricken teenage brains really work in wondrous ways. All it took was one look and boom! There was the man of my life.
“Yeah, right! Helloooo, get real,” some would say.
“No such chance,” I say.
It was an irreversible condition.
People say the first cut it the deepest, and boy, this one was deep alright.
Now, I am sure most people have had a teenage crush on someone famous and some probably experienced it numerous times during their teenage years. In fact, I think it is safe to say that for many teenagers, each year added to his or her life brings with it new tastes and new interests.
So did mine.
There were times, when Michael had to share my walls with other men, ranging from George Michael to Don Johnson and pretty much everything in between, but one thing never changed. Michael was always the king. He reigned supreme, so if I got a new Michael poster, someone else had to go to make room for him. However, I did not take down my Michael posters for anyone.
Almost thirty years down the line, he is still up there. He is not alone, but instead of sharing the walls with other hot hunks, he is now sharing them with pictures of my family and different works of art and he has to put up with the fact that sometimes, I have to move him a bit to make room for something else. But I never take him down. I always find a new spot for him.
Which brings me back to where I started - why did I stick with him?
We all know that teenage crushes are fleeting things, but most importantly, since my love was and will forever be unrequited, it should abide to the laws of nature, fade away, dry out and drop its petals like a rose denied the life-giving drops of water.
As I keep peeling back the layers, discovering new sides of his life and personality, my love for him only seems to grow stronger and deeper - and so does my respect by the way.
Well, first and foremost, with everything that he did and was, Michael was - and is - pushing all my buttons like no other man. This would have been more than reason enough to hang on to him, if he had been mine to hold in the first place. However, he never was and is not going to be.
Now, rather than adding even further to the mystery of why, the more I think about it, I am convinced that this is where I find the answer to my question.
What I feel for him has forever gone untouched by real life. Since he was not mine, I have not had to deal with hard times, heartbreak and the frustrations caused by bundles of dirty white socks left on the floor. He has never yelled at me in a heated argument, never let me down or disappointed me, never annoyed me with his bad habits, walked out on me or given me the silent treatment.
Instead, I have loved from a distance and had the privilege of constant good times through my often rather vivid imagination, my dreams - and let’s not forget the most important thing - his music and his second to none stage performances. Yes, I have been terribly worried about him at times, and I have cried with him and over him, but in all his troubles, my love was never the thing at stake. It remained pure, untouched by the events in his life, simply because I had no part in it.
Not even the most ultimate of events changed a thing.
And you know what?
This is just the way I want it to be. Rather than havning had him and lost him, now he will forever be my perfect love, my magic potion, my well of happiness that never dries out no matter how much I drink from its sweet waters.
It would be unnatural if I let go. I mean, no one in their right mind gives up on a source of joy like that. Do they?
I know I don't.