Michael was one of a kind. I was thinking back to when we met and the many times that we spent together and whenever we were out together and there would be a picture taken 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. I was 13 when we met and from that day on our friendship grew. 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 and maybe it was because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight at a very young age. I used to tease him and I’d say I started when I was11 months old, you’re a slacker. You were what, 5? Both of us needed to be adults very early. But when we were together, we were two little kids having fun. We never collaborated together, we never performed together, or danced on the same stage although he did try in vain one night to unsuccessfully teach me the moonwalk and he just basically just shook his head and crossed his arms at my attempt. We never filmed a video or recorded a song, but what we did do was laugh. It was a competition to see who can make the other one laugh more or be sillier. Michael loved to laugh. His heart would just burst out of him when he was laughing. He adored it when I did silly imitations or told him stories about my life. MJ’s laugh was the sweetest and purest of anyone I had ever known. His sense of humor was delightful and he was very mischievous. I remember it was the night before Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding and he had called me prior and asked if I would join him, he didn’t want to be alone for all the festivities. And it was the night before the big day and Michael and I tried to sneak in to get the first peak of the dress and we were just giggling like crazy and we almost passed out in hysterics when we realized that Elizabeth was actually asleep I the bed. We thought she was in an entirely different room. And we had to laugh and sneak out and then at the point of the wedding when there was the first dance basically we had to joke that we were the mother and father of the bride. Yes it may have seemed very odd to the outside, but we made it fun and we made it real. When he started wearing the glove, I was like what’s up with the glove? I was like look if you’re going to hold my hand it better be the non gloved one because sequence really hurts me…it digs in. He would just shake his head and he would just smile. He loved to be teased. Seeing him smile made you feel like everything was going to be alright. To the outside world, Michael was a genius with unchallenged ability. To the people who were lucky enough to know him personally he was caring and funny, honest, pure, non-jaded and he was a lover of life. He cared so deeply for his family and his friends and his fans. He was often referred to as the King but the Michael I knew always reminded me more of The Little Prince. Thinking of him now I’d like to share a passage from the book:
What moves me so deeply about this sleeping little prince is his loyalty to a flower--the image of a rose shining within him like a flame within a lamp, even when he's asleep... And I realized he was even more fragile than I thought. Lamps must be protected. A gust of wind can blow them out.
Michael’s sensitivity was even more extraordinary than his talent. And his true truth resided in his heart. As The Little Prince also said… Eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart. What’s most important is invisible. Michael saw everything with his heart. To his family, his brothers and sisters, Katherine, Joe and to his children, Prince, Paris, Blanket, my prayers are with you. Michael’s favorite song was not one of the countless masterpieces that he gave us but it was a song that Charlie Chaplin wrote for the movie Modern Times. It’s called Smile. There’s a line in the song that says ‘smile though your heart is aching.’ Today, although our hearts are aching we need to look up where he is undoubtedly perched in a crescent moon and we need to smile.
Brooke Shields gives a speech at Michael Jackson's memorial service.