Archive for category The Resurrection of Michael Jackson

Chapter Two-Transformation

Picture By Michelle Fusco (Libertina Grimm)

To start a new life, to be reborn is a gift.  He was gone, forgotten to an afterlife of memories and sunshine.  Living out his days in a blissful, candy-coated purgatory.  He could have stayed forever, but something compelled him to take his beauty and share it again with the world.  His understandings would melt away in his hands if he did not connect them to the world.

All at once, he knew that his hideout was only a weigh station for the soul.  He served his time, shed all the excess scorn and terror that had weighed on him for so long and learned how to breathe again.  The breath he drew in, once composed of bitterness and smog, was filled with life purity and essence.  He was new.  An infant in the frail body of a man.

The past no longer hung around his neck.  As he walked the chilly streets of Manhattan, peering at the billboards that once echoed his name, he knew what it was like to be alive and part of the world.  The world he breathed in tasted clear.  The filth and struggle of a world drowning in its own tears no longer beat on his brow.

He looked in store windows.  He did not long to buy or own or consume, he simply wanted to know.  An electronic store filled with gadgets to capture the past on screens.  A clothing store promising connection and love.  A restaurant screaming dreams of fulfillment. There was no sweetness in the pitch anymore.  He only felt curiosity and wonder.  He was so swept up in the race towards what our world believed to be meaningful; he lost sight of the truth within himself.

To walk the streets of New York City without wearing it’s pace and frustration was divine.  He could notice its push and pull, but not be swept away by it.   As he walked into the middle of Times Square something in him knew to fear its power.  He remembered what it was like to think that the energy of the city belonged to him.  Once, he believed that they were his.  Only later did he understand that he was theirs.  And that was when he began to die.

But, this death of his was a thing of the past.  He was focused on the light now.  He had found something, now he wanted to share something.  It was part of a greater process.  He was a vessel that now belonged to The Ocean.  He felt the subways pull beneath his feet.  His eyes closed and he could feel the motion.  As if he wasn’t but still was.

As he emerged from the acrid, putrefied heat of the subway station into a cold sea of noise and light, he tucked his hands into his hooded sweatshirt.  All of the times he had vanished under a surgeon’s knife in order to hide from them or from death flashed through his mind.  So much agony, but finally he had been created anew.  The final surgery last year, the one that brought him back to the way he looked in the 1980s, had allowed him to finally, once and for all accept himself.  The pale flesh of sorrow had vanished.  The veil of terror had been lifted and his soft, boyish innocence had returned.  Science was not the answer to his pain, but it allowed him to recapture a small piece of the self that was lost to the mob.

New York City was beautiful in all of its stunning chaos, but he knew he could not last here.  Eventually, it would become his skin and the unendurable sadness would return.  He needed to go somewhere where the illusions weren’t so powerful.  He needed to start small.  After all, this was his period of spiritual rehabilitation.

While trailing around the Port Authority Bus Station to keep warm he came upon his next move.  He’d just go somewhere.  He would take the next bus that was leaving.  Wherever the universe might take him.   He bought a ticket for some town named Zenith somewhere in Ohio.  It left in 15 minutes.

He walked through the oddly designed belly of the station. Past all of the portals that looked like they were created to service Martians on their way to Venus.  Past the lost souls stumbling through the stupor of an endless night.  Past the families huddled around their bags on their way to a some distant, sleepy Somewheresville.  Past the shimmering advertisements filled with happy people eating perfectly symmetrical meals and fighting the never-ending battle against hair loss.  Past all of the needless suffering and itinerant wandering.  Onto a bus disappearing into the darkness.  Into a reawakened future.

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Chapter One-Rebirth

Photograph By Libertina Grimm

Being dead wasn’t what he expected it to be.  By the end of what had become his life, he was completely overwhelmed and inundated with all of the venomous scorn that The Great American Hate Machine could produce.  He had become a walking nightmare.  A cautionary tale.  The punch line of every inarticulate joke told by the stumbling rabble that thought that he belonged to them.  Because he was wealthy, because he was famous, because he was different, they felt they had the right to turn him into something less than human. He used to pull the strings, but at some point, he lost control.  He became property of those who despised him the most.  He loved the fame and the attention, but he never asked for the hate.  They buried him under it.  So, he died.

Two and a half years after his death, he stood alone in the living room of a small bungalow on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific.  He was one of the few residents of one of those rare and unique places where even the most popular celebrity in the world could be ignored.  Where he was, no one cared about his identity.  It helped that the massive plastic surgery he had undergone made him look remarkably like the man he was in the late 1980s.

Science was a gift to Michael.  It allowed him to be whoever he wanted to be.  What he had once used to remake himself into the greatest attraction on earth now made him the world’s most famous stranger.  At first, he reveled in the anonymity.  Conversations with people who didn’t want to ask him about his baby hanging over a balcony or Bubbles the chimp or the Elephant Man’s bones or the latest Trial of the Century.  Conversations about the sunset.  Conversations about the weather.  What is least available to us is often what becomes what is most prized.  And to him, it was normalcy.

The routines of existence were, at first, poetry to him.  He awoke at 7 AM and took a walk on the beach.  He got home and fed his chickens.  He read extensively.  He listened to the beautiful sounds of Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson howling away on his record player.  He closed his eyes and sat peacefully in the sun.  He needed no sleeping pills or locked doors to create a brief and artificial quiet.  Real quiet was everywhere he looked.  Real harmony, at last.

For the first year, it was like heaven on earth.  About halfway through Year Two of his life as a dead man, a strange feeling began to well up in him.  It was a longing for something that he could not name.  Something was unsettling about his life.  He was far from lonely.  He had made friends with a few of the locals and was able to contact the ones that were closest to him.  He wasn’t exactly bored.  There was much to do, even in his idleness.  He missed the music.

One morning he caught himself signing along to Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”.   It occurred to him that he had not sung in what felt like an eternity.  By the end of the song, he was so moved he felt himself begin to weep.  He had forgotten what the music could make him feel when it came out of his body.

A steady need began to develop…the need to share this great gift that was given to him with others.  He remembered that night on stage in Japan where he looked into that woman’s eyes and had seen the most pure love that had ever existed.  To know that his voice, his music, could create that love in a person was something beyond words.  He missed that feeling, that connection.  When he was onstage and his voice exploded out of his slight frame and filled the theater with orgiastic light it was a feeling that transcended anything that he believed possible.

As he looked deeply into the endless horizon, he began to understand what he had to do.  Sometimes, the whole of a person’s being changes in an instant and there is simply no going back. He purposefully walked to his bedroom closet.  Above his clothes on a white wire shelf was an oak box.  He took the box down from its perch and laid it on the nightstand.

A cold feeling gripped him.  Nerves?  Fear?  He opened the box.  There, staring back at him with quiet intent was his white glove.  The white glove.  The glove had come to symbolize everything he loved about his old life.  It was glamor, it was beauty, it was ecstasy, it was uniqueness, it was innocence, it was joy….all together in one perfect icon.

He picked the glove up and slipped it on to his right hand.  He stared silently at it for what seemed like an eternity.  The sheer magnitude of the instant radiated hope and inspiration as brightly as it had ever shone for him.  He had reclaimed himself.  In this moment, he had been reborn.

Photograph By Libertina Grimm

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