This is the longest I’ve gone without blogging for some time. But sometimes you just have to let life play itself out without comment. Like so many people, I have been in a wash of images and feelings about Michael Jackson. I knew him as well as one could know him during the time before he did “The Wiz” and up through “Thriller.” I couldn’t pretend to understand him. There were so many complicated signals. Did he want me to be his ‘older women’ friend. He gravitated to older women. For solace? Succor? A beard? Did he want me to teach him the ropes? I never could quite figure it out. But I remember one day he was visiting me at my ranch north of Santa Barbara. It was the first time he had been in that region but he must have liked it because later he bought his ranch in that same area. Anyway, as we walked around the ranch which was perched right at the edge of the mountain overlooking Goleta, I pointed to a spot where I told him I wanted to be buried. Michael had a melt down right then and there when he heard this. He shrieked and bent over and said “no, no, no!” “ What’s the matter,” I asked. “Don’t ever talk about your dying,” he answered. “Don’t ever think about it.”

I think about death all the time. I rehearse my death. I think that’s a healthy thing to do. Death, after all, is what gives life meaning the way noise gives meaning to silence. Ooooh, I thought to myself, Michael will have a hard time of it as he ages. He will spend all his energy trying to flee what is inevitable. And now it’s happened. I like the fact that it was quick. Massive heart attacks that you don’t recover from are quick. You don’t know what hit you. That’s probably the kindest death for Michael. It’s hard to imagine him being happy as he aged. One more demon to try and evade. I like to think he’s happy now, free of his demons. Free and floating and knowing how his art continues to be revered and celebrated by all of us all over the world. It will continue.

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