I was 9, maybe 10 years old when Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album was released.
My best friend at the time, Rochelle, had Michael’s photo inside her cubby-hole at school. I begged my mom to buy a Tiger Beat magazine with MJ’s photo on it so that I could hang it on the outside of my cubby-hole (which was right next to Rochelle’s). Rochelle and I would argue about who was a bigger fan.
During lunch break, I used to dance to Michael Jackson (and sometimes Prince or Madonna) on the sidewalk outside of the classroom. I had a pretty nice boom box and a couple of sweet cassette tapes with an assortment of songs taped directly from the radio.
I had a huge crush on Michael Jackson. I also had a huge crush on Robert Orosco.
A vivid memory… during the annual Lanikai Elementary school fair, Robert asked me to watch the brand-new “Thriller” music video with him. It cost two tickets a piece, and he paid my way.
We watched the video, entranced by the dancing, the music, and the dark atmosphere while sitting so closely together.
We immediately stood in line to view the video again, and this time, we scooted our chairs closer together and held hands. It was my first hand-holding experience, so of course, I was totally in love.
Robert Orosco and Michael Jackson.
They’ll forever be tied together in my mind.
RIP MJ. We’ll be rockin’ to your tunes on the iPod tomorrow in our kitchen.