2003 Year End Thoughts
Nate De Young

The Books "Tokyo"

ovember 15th; 11:30 PM; Evanston, Illinois

The Books, Tokyo

After finishing a video project that took a month of my life away, I walked home down an abnormally empty street. To make my walk less painful (read: cold) in the Chicago winter, I listened to The Book's Lemon of Pink. As I walked, a ball of fur appeared in front of me, an opossum trudging along. As I watched it, I realized that the animal was walking in synch with the song "Tokyo." As the strings built against the plucked banjo, the opossum churned ahead of me.

Similar to the synchronicity of a Gondry’s “Around the World” music video, the opossum and I were walking along with the various movements of “Tokyo.” Found phrases such as “the realization is better than the anticipation” took on a vastly different meaning from any other time I’d listened to the song. Whether or not I was delirious from using a computer for eight hours beforehand, the situation between the opossum and I was more exhilarating than any other walk in memory. With every waddle of the animal, I expected it to turn around and say one of the lines from the song.

I laughed at this surreal pairing and, in response, the opossum darted to the other side of the sidewalk. I am not an intelligent man, however, when an animal is attempting to get away from me (normally in the form of cats), I can take the hint. Upon realizing that the opossum was attempting to get away from me, instead of having a nice walk together, I decided to stop and let him on his way. The opossum scurried away and into the street.

In the street, and farther away, the creature’s tail seemed so absurd and worthless that I knew I loved the animal’s inefficiency. “Tokyo’s” initial rhythm slowed toward the end of the song, and the plucked banjo mimicked our divergence. I kept walking down the sidewalk amused and continued to follow the meanderings of the opossum in the street.

On the street, he ran into the path of a minivan, which hit the animal about a second after I realized its doomed fate. I yelped as I saw the creature pummeled by two tires (still in synch with the music). I took off my headphones to hear the final minute of cries of the pained animal as the minivan sped away. "Tokyo" ends with an opossum crying.

Reviewed by: Nate De Young

Reviewed on: 2003-12-24

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