I'm empathetic. I'm a bit shocked. I'm probably even sad. I'm definitely sick of folk saying RIP. Stop it... damn.

I watched Michael Jackson and his brothers most afternoons one year as they rehearsed in the multipurpose room at Garnett Elementary School in Gary. I was 8 years old. My mother taught 1st grade there. I wondered who these dancing fools were.

This was just before the big "discovery" of the J5. They were just some local boys who won talent contests and could dance. Again, I was 8, I wasn't impressed.

Over the years, it was bothersome to say, yeah, I'm from Gary, no, I don't know Michael every time people found out where I was from. I'd say stuff like, you DO know Alex Karras and Deneice Williams are from G.I. too, right? That always resulted in blank looks that melted into "this heffa is crazy" smiles.

It wasn't that I was ashamed of Michael, I, like most locals, tried to keep them for ourselves, even when we knew we couldn't. So, as Julianna Renzik (or whatever her name is) interrupted the dumb show I was pretending to watch on E! the other day, made her announcement, I felt suddenly very alone. Michael was gone and wouldn't be showing up unannounced like his brothers did a few weeks ago... just cus they wanted to visit an uncle. I wouldn't have to roll my eyes and sigh as I said for the umpteenth time, no I didn't go to school with Michael. I would (unfortunately) have to listen to Bad every hour on the hour ... but that's ok.

Dead celebrities and their totally disloyal fans make me itch. Geez... I just ain't feeling all the tears and total sadness, and analysis of his life and career and social ineptness. Most of yall didn't even know he wasn't living in the country, geez, quit pretending you're upset!

I don't care. Does that make me a bad person? (please say yes).

Yeah, I was too close to the action, sitting in the multipurpose room at Garnett, watching this little boy and his brothers spin and dance and sing. It was never that big a deal to me. It was just the Jackson brothers from G.I. They did good.

*sigh* damn.