A Springtime Visit to Michael Alig in Prison Before His (Possible) Release

The four hour trip north to Elmira, New York saw the promise of spring fade into the endless winter. There was snow and ice and roadkill, sometimes disturbed by a torrent of rain and sometimes a tardy sun. There was a constant of apprehension. How would Michael Alig be? After a decade and a half of incarceration and more ups and downs and dips and spins than the Cyclone on a summer day, would he be as sharp as he was during my December visit? Professor Victor P. Corona came along for the ride and for the endless debate on what our pal will do when he hits the streets. When will that happen is the question of the day from those who still care. Those who still care consist partly of a group of old friends and business associates who have forgiven him or feel he has paid the price for his part in the 1996 murder of drug dealer Angel Melendez. Other people concerned with Michael’s fate are his fans. All over the world people who have never met Michael Alig or been to one of his parties read all that they can about him as if he was more than prisoner #97A-6595. He is a cult-like leader of a generation of young ones who have little else to latch onto and don’t really know the man behind the ancient makeup. They seem to worship Michael’s life without much consideration of Angel’s death, or understanding of the consequences of his bad deeds. Part of Michael’s price for return to our world must be an attempt to truly show these vulnerable minds the error of his ways. Steering his disenfranchised flock in a positive direction is called for.

Michael is doing well. He is beefed up from daily workouts with a personal trainer. He is proud of his six-pack and his biceps. He is in a drug program, a step toward returning to the living. He is preparing for the street … for his new life amongst us. When that will be is decision beyond my pay grade, beyond Michael’s. If I were a betting man I’d say before this Christmas. He is a noticeably different man than the one I have visited over the years. Gone is the hunger for the way it was … his life as king of the club kids. Gone is his anger, his self-loathing, his need to spin the story in any direction but the truth. He is deeply remorseful for his disastrous past. He is focused on a future which has been previously very ominous. He is chock full of ideas and art projects and game-changing concepts. He has stopped giving interviews and participating in the TV show du jour. He will wait until they have something new to talk about before he talks again. His mind is clear and sharp. He is the Michael I loved and befriended, not the Party Monster who let a generation down with an inexcusable evil act and subsequent cover-up. Nothing he does will bring Angel back or sway many to accept his release into society. He vows to try to live a life that helps others. I relayed all the "hello’s" and "miss you’s" from mutual acquaintances and headed south to my own world. Amanda told me I missed a beautiful day. Michael has missed 5000 as punishment for the life he took and the hundreds he ruined as his personal spring and summer, his days and nights spent in the light of the notorious Limelight and other joints turned cold and increasingly dark. He has moved on and is hoping the world will see him as he is now, embrace his new outlook , forgive him, and allow him to thrive.

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