One day last week I was stealing a moment at the computer while the kids played. Geekyboy was playing with the CD's. Outdated as they may be as a form of music storage, we still have a good few hundred of them in an attractive pottery barn "CD bookcase". (What a useless piece of furniture that will turn out to be in a few years, with its neat little 5" x 5" square shelves! Antique dealers of the future will be able to pinpoint in a second "Ah yes, a music storage shelf unit, circa 1995, from the shortlived "Compact disc" era). And I still vividly recall how futuristic they seemed when they first came out, watching the silvery disc spin so fast through the little sunroof in the lid of my boombox, not understanding how it produced the crisp sonic experience.
Geekyboy, tired of amusing himself by pulling CD's out of the shelves, toddled over and presented me with one. "Dants" he said to me, bouncing up and down by bending his chubby knees. (I think he means "Dance"). I took the proffered CD, then did a double take. He had handed me a copy of "Bad" by Michael Jackson. Now MJ's music has been playing on the radio since his death, but it had not occurred to me to put it on at home. I didn't realize that we actually owned any of his recordings. This CD must have been Geekdaddy's, probably purchased around the same time that he bought the "Billy Ocean's Greatest hits" CD, that lurks next to his Phish and Pearl Jam.
I'm not someone who believes in visitation from spirits of the dead, but it was eerie that of all the CD's in the rack, Geekyboy found this one, only a few days after Michael Jackson's death. According to Chinese custom, babies are not allowed at funerals, the thinking being that they are still close to the world beyond, and so can see the dead walking among us.
Skeptic that I am, I dismissed the idea that the spirit of the king of pop had visited our humble home, and put Geekyboy's selection down to a random chance event. But I decided to play the CD anyway, I'd forgotten how good a song "Smooth Criminal" is, and we danced together. Geekyboy showed off the dance moves he has started to develop. He pivots on one foot, bending his knees and stamping the other foot rhythmically on the ground while pumping his arms. Its cute. Thank goodness he didn't break into a moonwalk though. Then I would have really been spooked.