I once fell in love with a control freak. If you've fallen for a control freak then you understand that it's not that they're judgmental, they just have a lot of rules. The rule maker I fell for was Mac.
Mac thought everything should be done in such a way, meaning her way, which was the right way. There was no option for negotiation unless you were willing to barter by walking around the apartment with your shirt off for a couple of hours. You never knew if Mac was going to be the life of the party or be asked to leave. Being with her often meant finding the host and apologizing. That's if we made it an hour into the party before she decided it was awful, who are these people and it was time to go or we would be late to the next party we had to be at. The thing about the next party we had to be at is that didn't exist. We so often found ourselves leaving the current party as to not be late for the next pretend party because we didn't want to be rude.
Our initial attraction began with music. There was no match for her when it came to taste or b-side knowledge and she would eat you alive for breakfast if you challenged her. To her credit, she would warn you first. "Bring it on. I will destroy you." Confidence and control make great friends and I was a strong competitor, which kept her interested.
The first thing I noticed when I entered her West Hollywood studio was the poster of Bjork's Vespertine album cover filigreeing in the kitchen. This poster told me a lot about her as personal Bjork preferences reveal everything about one's character. Vespertine suggests you are refined, sophisticated and emotional. Debut says you're loyal, nostalgic, and a purist. Homogenic means you know exactly what you are talking about and you have great taste. Mac and I spent that night getting to know each other by sparring through Bjork's entire catalog. Eventually, conversations like this would serve as magnificent foreplay.
One thing I've learned in life so far is that bringing Bjork into it makes it better. She is especially helpful if you're trying to keep it together all the time. I know I'm trying to keep it together all the time and if we're speaking truthfully about the laws of attraction this is most likely why I fell for Mac. When you think about control freaks and what drives us, it's to make certain the fears that threaten our composure remain at bay: fear of failing, change, being alone, hurt, burnt out, broke, and not having anything to wear. It's endless. We obsess, we arrange, we talk first, we finish your sentences and we micromanage. And then we panic.
Bjork has a cure for this titled "It's Not Up to You" and it's the third song on her fifth album, Vespertine. This song is a transformative tincture to more blissful living. Next time the pressure of life hits the red, get mid-way through the first chorus then let go, and let Bjork.
To let go and let Bjork is a remedy for better living in general. Last week, the Huffington Post featured a thoughtful and illuminating article on the power of walking and how it helps relieve depression. One reported stat stated that over 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and the use of anti-depressants is up 400 percent. This is alarming. Bjork has a cure. It's called "Alarm Call" and it's the eighth song on her third studio album, Homogenic. She talked about her intention with this particular song saying, "I think that music has the power to change things and that's what I wanted to show." I suggest listening to the synth-pop anthem on your walk to transform your state and show depression who's the boss. Before you know it, you'll be singing, "You can't say no to hope, you can't say no to happiness" with a huge smile on your face, because if there are two things Bjork knows how to do it's beat depression and have fun.
Fun is something control freaks tend to struggle with unless we've planned the whole event and curated the guest list. We need to know what we are walking into to make sure there are no surprises that might unravel our keeping-it-together. It's not that we don't want to have fun, and we do have fun -- we just only go to a certain point of vulnerability before we pull the breaks. Bjork has a lyric for this:
"There's definitely, definitely, definitely no logic to human behavior."
My favorite "Let go and let Bjork" moment happened one winter when we saw her perform live at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles. This tour was for Bjork's Volta record, which was released earlier that year. We listened to this record once and then put it away. Bjork sounded like a robot and we couldn't handle her new artistic direction. Mac felt it had jumped the shark.
"It's over. Who wants to listen songs like that? She should stick to swans."
By the time we found our third row seats, she was already planning a set list that was not hers:
"I hope she doesn't play anything from Volta. Oh god, can you imagine if it's all Volta songs? If that's the case I'm leaving, I won't be able to take it."
Just then the house lights went down, the speaker levels went up and she yelped like a schoolgirl. Control freaks don't yelp like schoolgirls because that would be too vulnerable. I certainly was not yelping and then Hyperballad came on and I screeched and went raver. There we were yelping and screeching, completely out of character. During the encore, Bjork broke out Declare Independence and released cannons of confetti chanting, "Don't let them do that to you!" and we chanted with her. We were an army of followers and Bjork was our leader. The stage stomped, the venue shook, laser lights electrified and the crowd went tribal. For seven minutes and fourteen seconds we altogether lost our minds. When it was over, I looked down to find Mac lying on the venue floor in her orange Marc Jacobs pea coat making confetti snow angels. Like a kid at recess, I dropped to the floor to join her. That is what happens when you bring Bjork into your life. You let go, you drop to the floor and you make snow angels.