I Sang for Michael Jackson

There was even a red carpet from I don't know where--down which I chased him.

I attended a small private elementary school in Miami Beach. The year was 1983, and Billie Jean had been somebody's lover. The school looked like a church and smelled like a church, but it was a school. Nobody would have suspected it was a school--it was _that_ private. Perhaps this is why the Bee Gees sent six of their kids there? Celebrities love privacy.

My classmates often arrived in limousines. I was a pauper by comparison. But they were nice to me anyway. And I could learn the words to any song, including "O Come, All Ye Faithful." In Latin. Which I did for the school's winter pageant.

The night of the winter pageant, I was all set to sing "O Come, All Ye Faithful" in Latin. I was nervous but well rehearsed and not in nearly so dire straits as the asthmatic boy with whom I was doing the duet. He was having trouble breathing. We finally made it onstage in our red velvet clothes--though we were not long for the spotlight.

For just then, Michael Jackson, a guest of the Bee Gees, arrived in full _Thriller_ regalia: I'm talking epaulets, white glove, and sunglasses. He took a seat in the back row but remained as conspicuous as if he'd charged the stage.

Being five years old in 1983, I had only a murky understanding of who the Bee Gees were, but even I knew who Michael Jackson was. Michael Jackson sang "Billie Jean." I loved "Billie Jean."

I sang "O Come, All Ye Faithful" with my gasping duet partner. Michael Jackson applauded politely.

After the pageant was over, I asked my mom if we could get Michael Jackson's autograph. I had the natural enthusiasm of a five-year-old combined with the fervent fervor of a Michael Jackson fan. My mother said, "Sure." She pulled an envelope from her purse and a pencil (yes, a pencil) and sent me scurrying toward Michael Jackson, who had nearly reached his limo. There was even a red carpet from I don't know where--down which I chased him.

When I caught up to him, I tugged on his sleeve and said, "Can I have your autograph?" in what I hoped was my cutest little girl voice.

Michael Jackson smiled at me and said, in his cutest little girl voice, "Yes." Then he signed the back of my mother's water bill and returned the pencil and envelope to me.

Then he went on to become the King of Pop.

I have no idea what happened to the autograph.

Long live the King!


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