‘The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of infinite or finite possible universes (including the Universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists.’ – Wikipedia
© 2012 Angelo P. Hopson – please click here for more information.
Today is the sixth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing. I try to refer to it as the ‘day Michael transitioned to non-Physical’. We are all non-physical, spiritual beings. However, that sentiment, no matter how beautiful, does not deny that the way in which he left this word was sudden and tragic. He still had so much he still wished to do, most importantly, continue to raise his children.
This is a day of celebration of a life so well-lived which is also tinged with great sadness at what can never be. For this sixth anniversary I decided to re-imagine, through fiction, what Jackson’s life may have been like if he had not pursued a music career. I call it – ‘His Loss, Our Gain’: There is a theory that everything that can happen will happen and has happened somewhere in the universe.
Michael is born in Gary, grows, joins the family band, performs the Chitlin Circuit for years, auditions for Motown Records and… fails to get a recording contract. He and his brothers continue to play as the dream rides past them. Jackie becomes a pro baseball player, Toriano becomes a sessional guitarist. The rest carry out the working class future set out by their working class past. Michael quite recovers from the disappointment. Michael will always love to sing.
He graduates early at the top of his class. He works so hard, harder than everyone around him and gains a scholarship. He goes to college, he studies psychology and decides to become a teacher. Michael loves school and books as much as he loves to dance.
He meets a girl in a class. She invites him to a disco and eventually they marry. He’s always wanted a big family. He lives the suburban dream and becomes the first black principal of his local elementary school. He gives to charity, works in soup kitchens, spends school holidays doing missionary work in Africa. Michael loves to give back.
He has the voice of an angel. His family know – his wife knows. His children love to hear him sing. When he opens his mouth music comes spilling out.They keep having babies: two boys, a girl, a girl, a boy. Then more girls, twins, and another boy. His house will always be filled with children. Michael loves his family.
Though mottled brown and pink, he has learned to live with his vitiligo – the stares, the questions, the pointing and whispers. Those who know him understand it, know what he means to them and he thanks God for that every day. The ones who love him, love him in his skin. Michael loves his life.
His little sister breaks into Hollywood – she’s a bit of a star: ‘Janet Jackson’. He wishes her all the best with it. Janet is made of pixie dust. The California dream left him a million years ago. He has a family, a school of children, the starving babies of sub-Saharan Africa to think of. His house is a warm place, they sing all the time – there is a rhythm made up of warmth and love.
As for everyone else? Well, there was no ‘Thriller’, no ‘Off the Wall’, and no ‘HIStory’. None of it. There was no ‘ABC’ or ‘Who’s Lovin’ You’. The Motown 25 show was entirely forgettable and the music industry was never saved from its 1980s slump. Music is still segregated. Prince and Madonna were the soul of the 1980s and of course, music videos themselves never really took off. There was no ‘Heal the World’, there was no ‘Earth Song’. No ‘Bad’ and no Moonwalk. There was no June 25th 2009 and no ‘This is It’ and we did not cry. There were no allegations, not in 1993 or 2003. Just Michael – Mr. Jackson, bespectacled, near white-skinned now, vitiligo having taken its full melanin toll.
He sits in the conservatory with a glass of wine and a good book. Sometimes he paints. He is quite the amateur artist. He feels he has done some good in his time. He feels he has known love. Somewhere, out there in the Universe, Michael Jackson is a very happy man. He has years which roll out in front of him. He has many things to learn and know and see. He sleeps well.
There is a theory that everything that can happen will happen and has happened somewhere in the universe. We should be glad we live in a world where Michael Jackson decided to become the greatest start who ever lived.
What he lost, we gained.
© 2015 E. Amisu
See below for more academic writing on Michael Jackson’s life and art.