Just call me Jacko. Why? You could have remembered me had you received this letter before you died. Maybe if I had written this before that day you might not have died. That’s what’s strange about our lives, isn’t it? We can never know what would have happened had such and such gone differently. We can only know what it’s like now, from moment to moment; endlessly affecting the present is all we can hope to ever do.
That first day I met you I knew you were an easy little chicken. You came into the room at the Kingdom Hall assembly of our Lord God Jehovah on that night, and I knew I had to follow you. You spoke to our minister in quiet, passionate tones. Your eyes were wide, and you were clearly disturbed about something. I later found out your father, Joe, had held you up-side-down again and beat you with his belt because you didn’t hit the right note. I followed you back to your hotel room, and watched you, as you walked around the lobby. You were ten years old then. Chickens like you are ready at this age. I knew it, and you knew it, but you first needed to be released from the bondage of your adult cage. Adults had hurt you, and I was going to release you to fly with me off to Never Never Land.
I found out that first meeting that your mother was a Jehovah’s Witness. That’s why you came to our assembly. She had always taken you kids to Kingdom Hall when Joe was on another toot around town, chasing skirts, drinking and bragging about how famous he was going to be because of his kids. I told you I was also a Witness, and I hated the war in Vietnam, and I was a completely religious pacifist and lover of animals. Michael, now that you’re gone, I can tell you. I was grooming you for your fate and your future as one of us. We, who are most often misunderstood by the society that breeds us, are lovers of the man-child, the holy ones and old souls who have been given pain in this life so they can suffer it, learn to enjoy it, and, ultimately, we smile thorough it all. Remember how I told you about how I was from Never Never Land? I was one of Peter’s Lost Boys. I was Jacko, the kid who could trip Captain Hook with his cape, wrestle the crocodile and steal time from him, and whisper to Wendy the stories that she would have never read to us had we been merely normal boys. No, I told you that first night, we were never going to be plain, old normal lost boys. We were special.
I told you I would take you to Never Land if you hired me to be your assistant. We could do such wonderful things together while your brothers and father were whoring it up in the hotel rooms after concerts. We would visit the local petting zoos and other animal attractions. We would ride the carrousels, the Ferris Wheels, the go-carts, the wonderful, circularly exciting amusements of the flesh outside our insides. Oh, but it was the inside of you that I was really after. I think you knew it too, because you did get Joe to hire me, and I traveled with you on your world tours. I watched you sing and dance, “like a trained monkey,” I told you later, and you would laugh. You loved to be teased. You were such a little chicken.
. . . to be continued