there’s nothing like the calming reflection of jazz music in the evening as i am writing to you… you know, i try to defend your works as being not only in the realm of pop, but also in jazz; and no one seems to agree with, or believe me. such is life.
there’s something to be said for a man who can cover many artistic grounds- that makes him an ARTIST. not a musician, singer, dancer, writer… an artist.
but there i go again, digressing. i said i was going to continue that conversation with you, as i was drifting off. i try to not break my promises, even if the promise is made later than i said i was going to make it. but yes, jazz is just so soothing to me. right now, i am listening to sam rivers, who transcended a couple of days ago. i don’t even know if you’ve heard of him or his works, or even if you’ll see him wherever you are now; but if you do, perhaps you can sing along with the melodies of his tenor saxophone.
love though… love should be like a good jazz tune- free, calming and filled with so many intricacies that you can spend years together, and you’ll always discover something new. regardless of that love- parental, romantic, platonic- it should bloom like a freshly pollinated flower; it should be as warm as a cat curled up in a little ball on your lap; as unique as the threads on a sweater made by a grandmother…
it worries me though, that there was a major chance you did not feel that love.
okay, i’m going to narrow it down here, because we’ve discussed more than a few times the notion of familial love (in particular, with your father)- i’m sure there will be more times to discuss this. we’ve also discussed platonic love to a lesser extent, and i definitely want to return to that realm. right now though, i am focused on romantic love. as you know, it’s not something i’m an expert in, even having experienced it. i’m a living testament, as someone who has experienced something, but not necessarily one who can give advice or share words of wisdom.
i am interested in how traumatic experiences shape how one views romantic love. it can go several ways: one can turn out to be abusive, promiscuous, or cold to any feelings. or, one can beat the odds and turn out well-adjusted.
interestingly, i found this piece, clearly written prior to your transcendence. it’s seemingly based on your natal charts:
He is a gentle, poetic soul and has a great love and affinity for music. Because many of his feelings are vague and he cannot easily verbalize how he experiences life, music seems a natural language for Jackson. He is also extremely romantic and often “in love with love”.
Michael Jackson tends to have strange quirks, idiosyncrasies, or domestic habits, and he may feel that he does not fit in with “normal” people. These could be endearing eccentricities, or truly outlandish tastes and behavior. Establishing a steady routine and rhythm in his life and relationships would be very beneficial but may not be easily achieved. Ideally Michael Jackson can create a unique lifestyle that affords him a lot of personal space, freedom, and flexibility to follow his own somewhat erratic rhythms – while at the same time providing some order and consistency. There is a current of emotional discontent or restlessness within Michael also, which may be reflected in unstable personal relationships of the on again/off again variety. Michael Jackson craves change and excitement whether he realizes it consciously or not.
Warmhearted and generous in love relationships, Michael Jackson cannot tolerate pettiness or stinginess in his partner. Michael wants a hero to idolize and adore, someone to wholeheartedly admire and be proud of. Michael Jackson is tremendously loyal and devoted once he gives his heart to someone.
Michael Jackson craves love, appreciation and attention from others and hates to be ignored. He is rather susceptible to flattery and loves to feel special. Jackson enjoys a touch of drama and color in his love relationships and he is impressed by grand romantic gestures or extravagant expressions of generosity.
Loyalty, fidelity and security are very important to Michael Jackson in love relationships. He is cautious about giving his heart away but true to the one who does win his love. His tastes are simple, even austere, and he does not appreciate frivolity. Jackson is interested in a person’s character and inner qualities far more than in his or her appearance. Casual or superficial relationships do not interest Michael Jackson at all, for love seems to get deeper and richer and more satisfying for him with time.
When it comes to love relationships, Jackson is likely to feel pulled in several directions at once. In addition to his desire for depth and security in his relationships, Michael Jackson has an impulsive side and a need for a lot of variety and excitement… These urges do not have to conflict, but they certainly can, especially if Michael acts on his spontaneous impulses without much consideration for their long-term effects on his personal life.
He is excitable, spontaneous, and easily aroused emotionally and sexually. Michael Jackson falls in love very quickly and has little self-restraint or concern for propriety when his feelings have been stirred. However, it may be difficult for Michael to sustain relationships after the first rush of excitement wanes, especially if Jackson’s partner is basically a conservative person who does not like to change or experiment. Nontraditional relationships appeal to Michael Jackson, and personal freedom is or paramount importance to him.
Michael Jackson has a need for calm and peaceful surrounding, but his somewhat passionate nature could bring on arguments and fights about love matters. Michael Jackson loves his work and may connect his profession with a hobby in some way.
He is quickly aroused and likes to play with fire. A bit of a Don Juan, Michael Jackson seeks adventures in love relationships, but tends to be somewhat promiscuous. Jackson tends to lead a modern way of life; his style of clothes as well as general life style.
i have to say, looking at things you’ve said in interviews in particular, this article got a great majority correct. however, i’d apply some of it to other facets of your life though. i mean, we can go through this: i’m going to speak on the highlighted stuff.
(1. how many times have you spoken of the stage as a place of refuge? how many times have you stated that, if you want people to understand you, they only need to listen to your compositions- in particular, ‘childhood’, which you claimed was the most truthful song you ever wrote? understandably, because you essentially DID grow up in a proverbial bubble, it makes sense that this would be the easiest way for you to communicate with ‘the outside world’, aka “normal people”.
(2. of course, those ‘on/off relationships’ are evident to the day you left this earth, with people like frank dileo and john branca returning into your life. we can debate the nature in which this occured, but that’s not where i want to go right now. stay with me, michael… i am getting to my point, i really am.
(3. this one, we can take it several places… if we ARE going to speak of trauma, it COULD be related to your drive to be the best, for both your father AND your profession. in striving to be the best, your performances become more and more extravagant and unbelievable, thus impressing millions of fans- and non-fans alike, particularly after 2009. since ultimately, you did share a relationship of sorts with fans, their gestures towards you were also grand; presenting you with custom-made gifts, or simply sleeping outside wherever you stayed around the world. undoubtedly this made you feel special and loved… ultimately, this is bound to make one isolated, in order to be able to just breathe.
and of course, with some of your lady friends you opted to give them prominent pieces of jewellery as gifts, and flaunt them on camera.
i always found this quite funny, considering you were likely to be seen in your pyjamas and run-down loafers in public… i happen to like that, but that’s just me. i acknowledge the possibility of me being utterly incorrect as i make a huge assumption right now (based on what i consider to be my own frame of reference); however observing what brooke shields said about your relationship…
“Thinking back to when we met and the many times that we spent together and whenever we were out together, there would be a caption of some kind, and the caption usually said something like ‘an odd couple’ or ‘an unlikely pair,’ but to us it was the most natural and easiest of friendships… Michael always knew he could count on me to support him or be his date and that we would have fun no matter where we were. We had a bond… Both of us needed to be adults very early, but when we were together, we were two little kids having fun.”
…i think she was a major source of support for you, in your emotional difficulties regarding romantic relationships. you both DID have to grow up so fast- i did not know much about her, so i looked up her life… my jaw fell to the ground. that lady was exploited to a level i was not even aware of. i thought that ‘calvin klein’ ad campaign was the bulk of the exploitation. i remember those ads when they came out very clearly. boy, was i wrong. because of how you two grew up, i think she best understood whatever needs you had over the years, in ways others were not willing or able to understand.
with that, i have a clarifying question- yes, i know it cannot physically be answered, as you are on another plane. still, it does not hurt to ask. when you said this to shmuley boteach:
“That was one of the loves of my life. I think she loved me as much as I loved her, you know? We dated a lot. We, we went out a lot.”
i am trying to imagine the tones, the cadences. when you stated that you “went out” a lot with her, was this a point of clarification on the word ‘date’? or, did your interpretation of dating contradict what brooke shield’s interpretation of it meant? did that interpretation change for you over time? did you ultimately envision yourselves as two friends having a good time, or was it truly romantic for you? were those feelings (un)requited?
and was the jewellery a notion of individual conquest for you? or was it simply a friendly gesture? was it a display of romantic assertiveness, to prove to the public that you had a ‘sexual nature’?
i do find it curious/interesting that the women you were attracted to, either romantically, emotionally or platonically, displayed an unparalleled sense of glamour and glitz and/or flamboyance. i mean… elizabeth taylor? diana ross? liza minelli?
(4. okaaaaaaaaaay… this is a difficult one. i automatically have in my mind: lisa marie and the rift you two had due to her not wanting to have children with you, and you wanting children. i would think that this is something that should be established between two people before they make a commitment of marriage. the desire to have children or not to have them is a major thing. unless… it WAS discussed, and she changed her mind. i was not there, so i cannot make any judgements. i think she was a ‘good sport’ to travel with you all those places to the children’s hospitals. you were giving her a pretty clear model on what you wanted to do with your life; i cannot say that she let you know what SHE wanted. i say this due to her statements that she worked essentially to try to make your marriage work, until she eventually felt pushed away. again, i was not there to say whether or not she was lying.
the ‘urges’ to have kids were so strong though, that you ended up having kids with debbie rowe, while the signatures to the divorce papers hadn’t even dried yet. when you want something, you can’t be stopped. that’s been proven. did that have long-term effects on the relationship between yourself and lisa marie? i am going to say both yes and no. the both of you did spend some time together after your divorce, so even though your relationship may have been tumultuous at times, i think there was a genuine care you had for one another.
ultimately though, even though she grew up in a bubble herself, her approach to life appears to relate more to the ‘outside world’ than your approach ever did.
(5. that sentence about the ‘non-traditional relationships’ is perhaps the truest thing said about you in that whole piece. and again, i don’t think it’s something the outside world’ can relate to. because of this, people who opt for these types of relationships are considered strange, or anomalies. antiquated, even.
(6. …like visiting children’s hospitals…
(7. promiscuous? flirtatious perhaps, but promiscuous? nah. unless EVERYTHING you’ve said over the years about ‘no sex before marriage’ was a big lie.
this little essay on you reminds me of a portion of a conversation you had with your friend glenda (stein)… ironically, that conversation was recorded by glenda’s husband, who thought she was cheating on him with you, if i’m not mistaken. you can’t win, can ya michael?
anyways, this portion of the conversation i believe was referring to tatiana thumbtzen, who was fired (allegedly by mr. dileo) after she surprisingly gave you a kiss on stage at madison square garden. if this is NOT the back story (or even the conversation had in relation to her), let me be stood corrected.
“…we were talking about the situation that had happened. and she says, ‘you know i love you michael and i’ll do whatever it takes’… so i had to be honest with her… one of the things she told me… she goes like, ‘well i’d like to spend some time with you before you leave… because of what happened, you know…’ …she knew before that i was kinda interested in her… and i know i can trust this girl… i don’t have any bad feelings, i told you that.
…when she was talkin’… she goes, ‘well i know your situation… i could never see you again, or if something should happen and i’m really worried about that and i just wanna be with you. you know, one to one… without the whole gang being around. i just, it’s important to me…. to be with you. i don’t care, and i really wanna spend time with you.'”
okay, a jamilah break: i have been in her position, i know EXACTLY how she feels, to want to be with someone so badly, but certain situations hinder it.
this was a woman TRULY. IN. LOVE. you had something that got that lady HOOKED.
and back to your conversation:
you: she told me that she’s afraid that she’s gonna lose me as a friend or whatever; she’s afraid she’s not going to see me.
glenda: but she must care for you.
you: yeah, i know she does.
glenda: so what are you gonna do?
you: well i’m gonna… i’m gonna be with her… and she said ‘well, i want what’s best for you!’ i said , ‘damn it! let me make my own mistakes! if it’s a mistake, fine; if it’s not, fine. but just…’
glenda: how come people are so protective of you? you have a lot of people who really love you, and want the best for you. you’re not alone… tell me something, you know what? you told me before that you’re the loneliest person.
you: i AM!
glenda: then how can you be that way when there’s so many people out there-
you: ‘cos i don’t LOVE those people!
it’s gotta be hard speaking about your life with someone who lives in the ‘outside world’ eh? i hear her sincerely trying to understand where you are coming from, but it’s really hard for people who are living with trauma to express themselves in a ‘normal’ world. as private as you were though; i commend you for opening up even THAT MUCH to someone. i’m sure it was very difficult. but it’s a start.
you already know how i feel about the ‘way you make me feel’ ‘short film’ and the nightmares it gives me, so i’m not going to get into that right now. aside from that point, looking at how you are with tatiana, i’d say you two look cute together. you really do! HOWEVER- how you look with her, AS WELL AS with siedah garrett at the bucharest show in 1992, with diana ross at certain points, with brooke shields, tatum o’neal and OTHER ladies, i’d say the essay is pretty correct on the ‘don juan’ sentiment. does this mean you slept around? of COURSE not. in fact, i’ll go as far as to say a lot of the thoughts of you being promiscuous in any way are pure conjecture. i’d just say, for a guy so shy and unable to relate to the ‘outside world’, you’ve got that part of you down pretty well. you’re extremely flirtatious, chivalrous and assertive in certain ways with the ladies.
or is that all performance? is it overcompensation for shyness or naiveté? OR, in tatiana’s situation, you WERE genuinely interested in her, but her specific type of assertiveness turned you off? are you the type of person to take on more traditional roles regarding relationships, despite the ‘non-traditional’ routes you liked to go? was tatiana ‘wife material’ for you at some point? is that something you had hoped for, when all of a sudden, this public relations nightmare happened?
if indeed dileo fired ms. thumbtzen and you did not step in to object, how much control did you have really? OR… did you want her out, and in your aversion to conflict, you let dileo do the job? everything about the situation is extremely vague.
and it’s extremely devastating to hear you speak on these things, but it does give one a bit of insight of what it’s like to live in a bubble, and how hard it really is to relate to people in situations where it’s easy for what seems like everyone else to speak about.
you: i’ve never had… i mean, i’ve been with tate. i’ve been, well not with. i been with tate. i thought i was with diana, it was just in my own mind…
glenda: how long did it take for you to get over diana?
you: years… a HELL of a long time. i just wanna know what it’s like, girl. to have a real relationship with someone who doesn’t want me for me. that i don’t… i don’t have to look over my shoulder all the time.
tate… i dealt with tate when i was younger… she came up to me in a club… she put her hand on mine, i couldn’t believe it… i would give her money, i would give her jewellery, i would give her a house, a car, whatever. and it was never good enough. it was like, you know…
glenda: well she wanted all of you michael, she wanted… she wanted a relationship.
you: she knew how i was from the beginning. it wasn’t like she didn’t-
glenda: well she was probably hoping… that it would change….
you: no, not until i got married.
on tatum o’neal, you said to martin bashir:
“i don’t think i was ready for some of the things she was talking about… i was pretty naive, i’m not joking.”
in that specific scene, your eyes look so, SO sad, not unlike reminiscing an emotionally traumatizing experience. unrequited love can certainly be traumatizing in some ways, if you are a sensitive person. watching your body language too; you reverted back to teenage mode, like a teenager just exploring romantic love and not knowing where to go. the subtle lift of the eyebrows when you mention her name, representing the shame in even recalling the moments… it’s all very sad to watch.
it reminds me of how callously we treat the subject of romance, and love in general.
i mean, you spent more than 3/4ths of your life on a stage. and most of that was not even a literal stage. to have to remain in a performance state for the majority of your life has got to be difficult for anyone. the performance of gender, sexuality, political beliefs in ways which don’t necessarily adhere to your own modes of being has got to be extremely difficult…
the idea that notions of gender or sexuality are going to remain the same for everyone during a whole life cycle is dangerously limiting to ‘humanity’ as a whole. i’m not speaking about the binary spectrum of ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ even. i am speaking about the deeper effects of sexuality in relation to trauma. again, under these conditions there’s the possibility one can turn out to be abusive, promiscuous, or cold to any feelings. can a person truly be able to turn themselves around and have healthy relationships with others? of COURSE.
how do you think YOU dealt with that?
it’s interesting how you openly stated you were attracted to these women (some of them) who were pimped out in one way or another; women who WERE assertive in many ways, but when it came down to it, it seemed like you had to be the one to make the decisions.
i’m filled with tons of questions that may never get answers. but, such is life.
in light of everything i wrote to you here, as well as some recent thoughts and experiences; i’ve come to the conclusion that, like i said yesterday; as old as i am, i feel the same way you did when speaking about tatum o’neal.
no, i am NOT willing to put extremely private information out in the open (i’ve already done enough); i will say that my views on romance have been on different lines of the same spectrum: it’s just not that interesting to me.
i remember the days of writing love poems for people when i was quite young, at the same time not necessarily interested in getting there myself. because of this, i was called gay. years later that transferred over to asexual (sound familiar?) i mean, i was only 12, not even thinking about being with anybody! i was more interested in reading and writing than anything else. i remember being set up with a boy i was not interested in, because people felt sorry for me.
and of course, a few years later i began to develop the ‘romantic feelings’- the crushes, right on down to the deep feelings of being ‘in love’. and each and every time i met face to face with rejection. in retrospect i wonder if i welcomed rejection just to know that i felt something, or if my feelings of love were more emotional than romantic.
the older i got the more i saw friends getting married and having babies. my sister even had a baby. and i still met with rejection, to the point where i no longer openly sought out love. i became tired of feeling sorry for myself, trying to figure it all out, and self-injuring in the process. i was never really interested in a physical/sexual relationship with anybody, but i realized (in my own mind) that, if anybody is going to be with you, it’s because of the potentiality of sex. so, i surrendered to that, even if that was something i did not want to do. to be in a committed, ‘marriage-like’ relationship with someone, where there is no emotional harmony; yet the physical is a driving factor- is extremely damaging to the spirit, especially if you are dealing with trauma. to initiate a relationship, and to remain with them due to fear of ‘never knowing what being with someone is like’ is EXTREMELY damaging, and i don’t advise ANYONE to do it.
i realize my situation is vastly different than yours, but i don’t know… i don’t feel like i have the ‘natural inclination’ to act out on the ‘sexual energy’ most people speak of, in a physical way. i already know what that’s like. i have no desire to continue it. some say it’s because i’m still living through trauma. i’m made to feel abnormal. so with that, i guess i have to live out the rest of my life in abnormality.
i don’t know if you ever got to experience the ‘true love’ you sought; frankly, i don’t know if i will either. and i’ve come to terms with that. and i actually don’t feel bad about it at all. it wasn’t until recently where i felt this way. sure, it would be nice to live out the rest of my days with a companion (as i keep saying), but if i don’t, it’s not going to be the end of my world. the things in my mind and how i experience life most likely are different from most people i’ll encounter in this life, and i acknowledge that i may never meet that companion.
interestingly, i’ve come to this conclusion largely by learning from you. so thank you again.. i am quite humble in these learning experiences. i don’t deny the possibility of any changing feelings/opinions; i’m just stating my thoughts now, in this method to communicate with my teacher in whatever way possible.