I listened to George Michael yesterday with a bit of a broken heart. I knew every word and beat and remember wailing the songs at the top of my lungs in my double cassette player. I wore his first solo tape out and had to buy another but I used to do the 12 tapes for a penny thing about once a year, si I was ok. They probably have some bounty hunter looking for me for all the cassette tapes I felt I legally bought for a less than a quarter in the 80’s.
I listened and wondered if my broken heart was really for George. I was sad he died. I wasn’t shocked that he died at 53 of heart failure because my step father did. I know it is too young but when you come from one of the most poverty stricken lands in this great nation, you get used to people dying young. Like my little cousin James who died just 3 weeks ago of heart failure and he was 22 years old. He played with my sons.
Anyway, so I was wondering as I lay there medicated from being sick for the 5th day in a row and wondering if I was ever going to feel normal again, whether I was really a fan of George Michael or a fan of my youth?
Did his passing make me feel like that time and place was farther away, not even will I be able to grasp it with the fingertips of my memories someday because icons like him whom I chewed my Bubblicious too, swung my ponytail around to, sprayed my Coty Wild Musk around, wore my cherry lipgloss to, had his poster from Tigerbeat hanging on my wall where my array of colored jelly shoes were proudly lined up by my book shelf made out of milk crates that held my shoebox full of neon earrings and rubber bracelets and hairbows sat next to my double cassette boombox while it thumped out “I Want Your Sex” or mournfully cried for a “Father Figure?”
The answer is yes, I was a George Michael fan from the minute he wore his Daisy Dukes and huge T shirt with Wham and yes I know every word to every one of his songs and yes my youth is getting farther away and my age creeps closer to the death rate of my tribe.
I watch those around me leave while they are young and pray someday things will change.
I know it has to start with ourselves.