While I won't presume to know what specific things were on his mind over the last few years, I can identify with several issues he faced.
Financial pressures that lead to despair, illness that robs you of your freedom to move as you wish, having to part with beloved items (although mine were not as vast as Neverland), being ostracized for personal beliefs that others find sinful (I write gay romance; Michael was acquitted twice of child molestation).
What I think Michael wanted most was time to get off the merry-go-round of everyday life for a minute so he could catch his breath. To have a stopwatch he could press that would make the world just wait for a moment so he could think without being pressured or hounded, or having to hide.
Who among us hasn't wished we could stop the world and just get off for a bit?
I chose this picture for my blog because it's such a heavily airbrushed photo - it almost doesn't look like Michael Jackson. He looks perfect here - the dapper, immaculate performer in charge of his domain and master of the art of being suave and polished. I like the picture because he looks like Prince Charming. He could be one of the Jades in Empress Destoiya's court in one of my books. An Alitus with dark hair. Perhaps this is how Michael Jackson saw the Man in the Mirror, or wished it was the way he was seen. In either case, he's gorgeous here. I honor the photographer and would give credit if I knew his/her name. Prince Michael immortalized.
When I was younger, I took my nieces and nephews to see the Jackson Five perform in Las Vegas. (I grew up there) We scored a balcony seat at a dinner show, and we were right up front. I enjoyed the show as much as the kids did. When my father saw them on Ed Sullivan, he really enjoyed their excitement and energy even if the music wasn't his favorite genre, and I remember him commenting, "That little one is going to amount to something if he puts his mind to it." Mother thought he was cute. The show was all my young family members could talk about for weeks, and how Aunt Kay had gotten them into a big hotel to see a real live show. The highlight of their year. For me, I have to say even when he was a little boy, Michael was riveting. I remember little about the rest of the singers. Once Michael came out, it became his show.
How many of his songs have I listened to as I wrote? Billie Jean is my favorite, and I gifted my husband with a bevy of his iTunes songs for Christmas so he could have them for the car on his way to and from work, and later school.
What do I think of the sex scandals surrounding him? Michael was acquitted by a jury of his peers, and never found guilty. God doesn't judge a man until the end of his days, why should I? His story will be told over the years by scholars, and eventually by a generation who never knew him, never actually saw him perform at any age and all they will have are the recordings and the tributes we leave behind.
This is why I had to say a public thank you, Michael, for a lifetime of enjoyment and entertainment. And let's not forget the secret moonwalks I did when no one was home and I could flub it without anyone to see! Laughter, joy, amazement, music that sticks in my head and in my heart. I will miss you.
When my husband was deployed years ago, we couldn't bear to say good-bye to each other so the last words we would say were, "Pause till later."
So Michael, I will not bid you farewell. I'll say thank you, I'll miss your music, I love you, and most importantly ... "pause till later." XO