Michael Jackson, 1958-2009 - Page 2

A special remembrance from and for the heart of a soul lover
Illustration by Veronica De Jesus

On "Will You Be There" from Dangerous (Epic, 1991), almost crying instead of singing, he assures us that he's only human (despite the monster that we've made him out to be) and prone to mistakes — essentially, a child that needs to be held. The lyrics are of a shocking introspective nature, most poignant during a spoken passage at the song's close where he expresses loneliness and violent frustration. Clearly it is gospel-influenced. He's singing for salvation.

The opening lines of "Stranger in Moscow" (a new track on the 1995 Epic compilation HIStory) couldn't have been more clear. I was wanderin' in the rain / Mask of life feelin' insane, swift and sudden fall from grace. At that point, MJ was aimless — having achieved uncharted greatness, but the glory behind him. In a sense, his mask, or face, was both his fault and ours. We are the ones who put him on the pedestal since childhood and gave him the fame that would eventually eat him alive, whether he liked it or not. We saw him grow up then blow up and couldn't get enough. Maybe he didn't want to be recognized anymore. Maybe he wanted to become a monster so that we would leave him alone. If so, it all backfired and made "Jacko" a laughingstock to the mainstream media for the remainder of his life.

The same song also contains the line "Armageddon of the brain." Those four words always resonate with me when it comes to analyzing MJ's psyche. They paint a picture of an explosion inside his head, a virtual inferno of the mind. Perhaps a reference to the moment he snapped or reached his breaking point.

Yeah, I am a genuine fan of Michael Jackson. His musical gift, contributions, and accomplishments are unfathomable. I don't blame people for calling him a freak. I know he's misunderstood, and if I were in his shoes I'd probably have slit my wrists long ago. I don't know what he was guilty or innocent of in his private life, but I do know that in death, he's free of persecution. If anyone believed in magic, it would be MJ, so maybe he knew I was having a shitty day and gave a true fan a final parting gift. He knew I needed all those texts from people checking on me to see if I'd heard the news, showing they cared. I guess you know who your true friends are when Michael Jackson dies. God bless tortured souls.

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