Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson, R.I.P.

The world is remembering Michael Jackson.

At work yesterday, my coworkers put on some of their favorite tunes of his, among them "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough" and the Free Willy theme song, "Will You Be There." When I was a little kid, one of my favorite videos was the "Smooth Criminal" section of Moonwalker.

While at work, I received an email from a Congolese man I met at the Dubai International Airport last year. "Bonjour !j'ai tres mal appris la nouvelle du deces de Michael Jackson. et comment la nation Americaine concoit cette perte brutale?" he wrote. "je presente les condoleances les plus attristes au peuple Americain."

After work, I headed to the Harlem Meer and checked out a pole at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center to go fishing. Heading back to the train, I bought a bottle of water at a bodega. While waiting in line, a Latino man talking to the clerk turned to me. "Man, what do you think about Michael Jackson dying?" he asked. "He was the best performer ever."

The NY Times has reported that Michael was on medication, but it will take weeks before the cause of death can be determined. The police have opened a criminal investigation and are questioning Jackson's personal doctor, Conrad Murray.

I went to the local bodega today. "Bad" was playing on the radio. Back home, I heard Michael's intense, unmistakable voice coming from my Chinese neighbor's apartment.

We miss you, Michael.

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