Laugh as you may, I wholly believe and have accepted into my little black heart that the electro rock band Miike Snow is conspiring my downfall in life. For the sake of sanity (or lack thereof) I shall heretofore recognize Miike Snow as one individual, rather than the trio of producing team Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg and American Andrew Wyatt it is actually made up of. For our purposes these individuals no longer exist, they simply blur the lines of the still-life they form, like a toddlers’ watercolor.
It all started in the not so distant past, when the song “Animal,” was on every TV show, movie trailer, commercial, radio station, ringtone, on and on and on. That catchy refrain exclaimed to all that “there was a time when my world was filled with darkness…darkness, darkness.” How true a statement. Ironic, I couldn’t recognize it, even as I looped it daily on my iPod. You see, I was in love. Or rather, lust. Or rather, infatuation verging on a neurotic breakdown. I obsessed over every text and conversation. Waited for my chance to see her next. Urged incessantly that she see me sooner. I took her to a little Moroccan joint in the East Village called Kassimir. Over the candlelit table we talked about music, and I thought about sex. We had been dating for four whole days. COUNT ‘EM! One. Two. Three. Four. Clearly we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together, so when she happened to mention that Miike Snow would be playing Terminal 5 two nights from then, I thought it would be entirely acceptable for me to buy two tickets for the both of us. Just a nice thing to do. Not weird. Or creepy. Or, “this guy needs to cool it, he’s starting to freak me out.”
So I did. When I told her, she sounded a bit uneasy. Just overwhelmed with joy, I figured.
Two nights later we stood in front of a stage while white men in white masks sang about how “a horse is not a home” (no shit) and how some chick named Silvia did him dirty. But Silvia wasn’t with me. Silvia was with him. Sara was with me. But wait… Where had she gone? I looked around. She had just been next to me. Her hand in mine. Her red lips, on the other side of my air, begging to be broken away and locked in.
“I change shapes just to hide in this place, but I’m still, I’m still an animal.” There she was. Five feet in front of me. Her hands outstretched to her sides, fingers flexed, as if she was being abducted by some invisible force. But there was only Snow. That looming bastardly creature. She was entranced. Encompassed. Engirthed. Baby, I sing the body electric! And your falling for some boys who sing to songs electric? I felt her slipping out of my grasp. Pulled in by the gravitational force of Snow.
I never saw Sara after that concert. I’m convinced that Miike Snow looked out into the audience, saw me standing with that lovely creature and thought, “I’m going to ruin Noah Wunsch.” How did he know my name? Snow has powers of the dark craft. Sara leaving me had nothing to do with the fact that I was moving way too fast, way too soon, and may have bought her a kitten and dressed it up in the same clothes I was wearing when I gave it to her. No. Nothing to do with any of that. I had been marked. Marked with the sign of Snow.
Fast forward to the present, when I received an e-mail last week asking if I wanted to interview my nemesis. My palms started sweating immediately. Was Miike taunting me? Challenging me to step into his arena, and duel him with nothing more than a quick tongue and a tiny tape recorder? Did he want to show me pictures of himself lying bareback with Sara. “These are our children, that’s little Noah, that’s little Matthew, and that’s little Wunsch. We wanted to pay homage to the man who brought us together.” SNOW!
I accepted the challenge and awaited date and time. His people sent me an e-mail asking if 4:15 Tuesday, March 20th would work. I checked my calendar. It directly conflicted with my therapist appointment. Ahhh, very keen Snow, trying to weaken my emotional faculties. Leave me vulnerable and exposed so you can snick and snack at the heart on my sleeve. “No, I’m sorry, I have an appointment I’m unable to cancel at that time, is it possible we could do any earlier?” You mess with the bull, you get the horns. A response came a minute later, simply stating that no, it would not be possible to do it earlier. That is the only time offered.
And the bull is dehorned.
I accepted this slap in the face gracefully, rescheduling with the good doctor for Wednesday. I thought of the perks that a late afternoon interview offered. I had time to go to the gym and buff up a bit. I could go to my dojo and talk to my shogun about the proper way to disembowel an ancient Samurai spirit. Fuck therapy. I didn’t need to talk this out, I needed to fight it out. But goddamnit, in my moment of adrenaline rushed excitement I forgot that Snow could read my mind. As I backtracked through the rolodex of super deadly martial arts I had trained in, he was listening in on my every thought and move.
“So sorry, 4:15 is no longer possible for Miike. Could you possibly come at 11 AM?” I read the e-mail over and over again. He was toying with me. In this cancellation my fury doubled and I felt a horrible need to see my therapist, but oh wait, I couldn’t because I had to reschedule him. Maybe I could go visit my shogun and spiritual master? NOPE! DOJO OPENS AT NOON. I would have to face the creature alone…
Tuesday morning my alarm went off. I shot out of bed, covered in a cold sweat.
I took a stoic shower. For some reason the song “Animal,” was stuck in my head, though I hadn’t listened to it since that doomed night at Terminal 5. “Animal,” transitioned into “Silvia,” into “Paddling Out,” into… Wait. “Paddling Out,” is on his new CD Happy To You, which I hadn’t even listened to. How did I have this song stuck in my-SNOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!
I tried on seven different t-shirts. I had to look the perfect ratio of cool to schlubby. Just enough to let him know I didn’t care, but also showed that I was untouchable. Like Patrick Swayze in Tiger Warsaw, his greatest performance ever. I prepped myself for the long trek down to Tribeca. I was on his turf. Out of my element. Ready for battle.
“I’m sorry we don’t have you down for an interview at all today,” I was on the phone with some of Miike’s people.
“How is that possible? I confirmed multiple times.”
“I’m sorry. Could you possibly interview the band before their show tonight?” Why? So he could steal another one of my future wives? SARA WASN’T ENOUGH FOR HIM?!
“I have another engagement this evening. Could they possibly meet this afternoon?”
There was a pause on the other end of the line. The woman was probably whispering to Miike, who was in tears from laughter: Oh my god, he actually showed up? HA! THAT’S HYSTERICAL. Or maybe I was speaking to the devil himself. He was simply feigning the voice of British representation.
“Miike?” I whispered.
“What was that?” The British woman asked.
“Unfortunately the band has meetings all day. Could they possibly call you from the limo at 3:30?” Limo. Wow. Nice name drop Sally. I get it, I’m a lowly writer, Miike is a huge rock star that gets to ride around in limos. You don’t scare me.
“Sure. 3:30 will do just fine.” I wandered the city. They had stolen my girl. They had stolen my therapist. They had stolen my shogun. What did I have left? I ran to the Westside Highway and looked out over the river. “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!” I screamed out to the water. It didn’t respond.
I did push ups and sit ups. Ran the boardwalk listening to “Eye of the Tiger.” I killed a goat and sacrificed his entrails to the Gods, “Keep me safe at 3:30 oh holy ones. To you I profess!”
3:30 rolled around. I waited at my desk. Waited for the vibrations of an incoming call. 3:35 passed without a titter. Then 3:45. 3:55. At 4 o’clock I realized what had happened. I had fallen into his trap. There I was in the midst of a physical, emotional and spiritual breakdown. Miike Snow had wanted this all along. He was the lion, and I was simply his ball of yarn. I curled up in fetal position on my floor, staring at the yellow wallpaper. Words came to my lips. They pressed and parted, until I was audibly mumbling out a universal tune.
There was a time when my world was filled with darkness… darkness, darkness.
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