Remembering Anew

This is how I want to remember Michael Jackson.

I want to call my best friend Jenny on my white Princess phone in my bedroom.

I want to hear her Dad’s voice on the other end, hollering for Jenny to pick up the other line.

And I want to hear my Dad’s voice telling me that I’ve been on the phone too long.

I want to walk from my house to Jenny’s, all by myself.

I want to climb the steps to her attic bedroom and jump on her bed – but not too high, because there’s the danger of hitting your head on the attic roof.

I want to sit in front of the television with Jenny, waiting for the World Premiere of Thriller on MTV.

I want my own damn MTV.

I want to read again and again and again, all the Michael Jackson photos and newspaper clippings that adorn every square inch of Jenny’s walls, ceiling, and floor.

I want to tell my father that The Gloved One is so worth spending $30 on a concert ticket to see.

And that at 15, I am more than old enough to go all the way down to Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium on the subway by myself, thank you very much.

I want to be angry with my parents when they tell me that it doesn’t matter what Jenny’s parents say – I am forbidden to sleep outside, on the sidewalk, in front of Gold Medal Sporting Goods in Northeast Philadelphia in order to get the best seats possible for The Jackson’s Victory Tour concert.

I want to roll my eyes and say they just don’t understand.

I want to tell my Dad that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I want to realize that this will be one of the last times I’ll argue (in the way only teenage girls can do) with my father before he dies less than six months later, at age 44.

I want to tell my parents they are the best people on the face of the earth when they wake up at 3:30 a.m. and drive me over to Gold Medal Sporting Goods to join Jenny in line.

I want to be more grateful to Jenny’s dad for agreeing to take us pretty young things to the concert and to roll my eyes at him, with her, when he embarrasses us on the subway by telling everyone that we are in love with Michael Jackson.

I want to sleep over Jenny’s house, page through our Michael Jackson scrapbooks, and talk until dawn about how the Victory concert was themosttotallyawesomenightofourlives!

I want to remember once upon a lifetime, one more time.

2 thoughts on “Remembering Anew

  1. Betty and Boo's Mommy

    Mary Fran, it is an honor to have you stop by my blog … I’ve read several of your pieces in various Philly publications when I’ve been lucky enough to do so. Thanks so very much for the kind words – and my condolences on the loss of your Dad. Even though it was 15 years ago, still, the loss of a father is always something to mourn, regardless of how old we are.

  2. Mary Fran Bontempo

    Oh, to go back. Your post brought tears to my eyes, for the things that were, including not only the Jackson 5 (loved, loved, loved them!), but my own father, whom I also lost fifteen years ago. Thank you.

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