2:48 pm - Mon 6.29.2009
So many interesting - and at least semi-interesting - things to write about.
And so little interesting - or at least semi-interesting - writing going on...
I wouldn't say I've been obsessed, exactly - he hasn't really meant anything to me in probably 25 years - but I've definitely been emotionally affected by the death of Michael Jackson. I think that's why I've been feeling pretty sad the past couple days (Well, that, and the sinus infection I haven't been able to shake for weeks now).
(I feel guilty for being saddened by Michael Jackson's passing, when I'm only vaguely aware of what's going in Iran - which is clearly "history in the making" - but what can I say? I didn't "grow up" with Iran - I'm not sure I even knew there was an "Iran" till the Hostage Crisis in...76? - and I sure didn't learn how to dance by watching Iran.)
I could do a couple entries about my thoughts on Jackson - I find him a pretty compelling figure - but I have other things on my mind, so I'm going to just touch on two things that have occurred to me in the past couple days.
I guess I just can't escape feeling "guilty" these days, because one thing that struck me upon hearing the news - and I commented to this effect on Facebook - was that "Clearly, it would have been better for Michael Jackson if he had never been 'Michael Jackson'".
But what I didn't say was "...but then I wouldn't have had 'Michael Jackson'" - there wouldn't have been me spending hours in my room spinning around like MJ, learning "The Robot" (And later, trying to learn "The Moonwalk"), realizing, thanks in large part to being inspired by MJ, that I could move, that I was actually good at it.
That was very meaningful to me, both as a performer (While not a "dancer", per se, my talent for "movement" has definitely served me well as an actor), and as a person (It was something that made me feel "special"...and I'd gone through much of my life up to that point feeling decidedly less than "special").
So thanks Michael. Thanks for giving your life so I could feel a little better about mine (I imagine I'm not the only one who's been thinking that sort of thing right now).
Beyond the dancing (And the excitement of hearing "Beat It" for the first time, or seeing the "Thriller" video), I've felt an affinity for Michael Jackson all our lives - we were close in age (I'm 48), and both had our childhoods taken from us (Albeit, in very different fashions).
So I went from admiring him as a performer early on, to feeling sorry for him as an adult (Which I used to think was very odd - Me, feeling sorry for "The King of Pop", with all his money and fame? - but in light of his untimely end, it's seeming pretty appropriate).
I didn't know Michael Jackson. It seems like no one did. But I feel as if I have some small sense of his loneliness, his feeling of isolation, of feeling like a freak (I never understood all the cosmetic surgeries, but now it seems like he was making himself look on the outside how he felt on the inside - Not "normal", maybe not even "human". A unique entity. One-of-a-kind - and terribly, completely, alone).
I have been sick with this sinus infection for going on a month now...
At first, I thought I just had a cold, and didn't think that much about it (Except to feel sorry for myself over how much I've been sick this year).
My friend Margaret (Who is a nurse) told me I should go to the doctor when I told her I'd been sick for about two weeks...but then the green gunk went away, my sinuses cleared up, and I thought it was all over.
My sinus infection had just morphed from a cold-like thing to a toothache-like thing, on my left side (My sinus on that side was swollen and sore, and thus the tooth pain).
Fast Forward - I went from the Dentist to the ENT Doc (And back to the ENT Doc today), and I am very much hoping that this medical misadventure will be coming to an end soon.
I've been very uncomfortable and unhappy for awhile now...and having this sinus infection hasn't helped.
(That was like a joke, only smaller.)
It really is hard, when you're sick, to not have your entire life narrow down to "I don't feel good" (Harder still when something like this knocks my sleeping down a couple notches, from "Never good, even in the best of times" to "Why do I bother even going to bed...?").
Add to that layers of anxiety about money (I am uninsured as of July 1st), and aging ("I used to be able to 'shake off' shit like this..."), and mortality (I know - "It's a friggin' sinus infection, Jim!" - but it's only the luck of the draw that I'm talking about that and not how "Man, I'm really having a hard time shaking off this brain cancer...")
In her latest email, Jane sent me a flier she'd done for Craig Oster, a Lansing man who's battled ALS (aka "Lou Gehrig's Disease") for the past 16 years (Kind of his "Here's how I'm doing" update for friends and well-wishers).
It's pretty sobering stuff - we worry about the everyday things we worry about, while Craig spends his time struggling to breathe - but while I definitely feel for him, I'm a pretty talented guy; I can figure out how to feel sorry for him and still feel sorry for myself.
Pretty neat, huh?
But seriously, reading about Mr Oster, I found myself wondering how I'd do if life handed me a similarly shitty hand (Particularly considering the relatively shitty luck I've already had) - What would I do, how would I cope, when even the minimal things I wish for, the good things I tell myself might still happen in my life, were to become impossible dreams?
I. don't. know. I really don't.
Well, "things came up", as things do, and I was taken away from the task at hand....
(One thing that "came up" was a call from Margaret C, a very happy interruption indeed...)
Now it's moving toward time for me to hop on my bi-cycle, and ride to the first day of my stand-up class.
I didn't get to write about the correspondence I'm having with Omar Lee Pupo, the eldest son of the the Pupo family (My last official "placement" in foster care), which definitely merits journaling about.
But next time...
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