Allow me to tell you about the day I had.
First, a little background. Anyone who knows me also knows I’m a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails. Everyone has a favorite band. NIN happens to be mine. When I was 16 and still trying to figure out this whole writing thing, I had a lot of heroes and sources of inspiration. Two of them sort of came together at a pivotal moment: Chuck Palahniuk and Trent Reznor. Chuck’s writing style showed me it was okay to break the rules. Trent’s work helped me tap into what I wanted to really say. Yes, I know this is going to sound like a bunch of drivel written by a high school student, but stick with me here for a second. Trivial or not, drivel or not, it meant something to me. I found meaning and inspiration in the art these guys created.
I wrote my first novel to the backdrop of the Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral. The book was an angsty, violent story, fueled by the noise coming from my stereo and written in a minimalist style similar to Palahniuk. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t good, but it’s that first piece of work that made me decide this is what I want to do. Over the last ten years my style’s moved away from Chuck’s form of prose to something a lot more traditional, but my need to listen to NIN every time I write something has not changed one bit. I’ve realized, over the last couple of years, that my novel ALT was subconsciously inspired by a few NIN songs. The new book draws from the themes of relevance found on the With Teeth album. I’m embarassed to say that I never mentioned Reznor in the acknowledgments of the book. At the time I thought it would appear immature so I left it out. I’ll be able to rectify that now – not by thanking him on paper, but by doing so in person.
Today I won tickets and backstage passes to see Nine Inch Nails perform at the show of my choosing.
The way it happened is, ever since the tour started, Trent’s been doing quick contests on Twitter. They range from the first five people to click a link, to #1001 through #1005, and so on. Today, however, Trent had something else in mind:
@trent_reznor: To win FREE TIX AND BACKSTAGE PASSES TO ANY SHOW IN THE US – do the following:
@trent_reznor: Write to @davenavarro6767 and tell him what you find the MOST sexy about him. I’ll pick 5 winners after about 1,000 entries. Be creative.
For starters, yes, that’s the real Dave Navarro. I’m a big fan of Dave’s solo album Trust No One. I recommend it. But, I can’t exactly say I’ve ever looked at a picture of him and thought he was sexy. Maybe I’m weird, or maybe it’s because I’m a guy, but I can’t say I’ve ever found him attractive. Ladies may have differing opinions, though. In any case, I didn’t have much time to react. The world of Twitter moves incredibly fast, and Trent’s got over 500k followers. It wouldn’t take long for Dave to get slammed with 1000 responses. So, what to say? What could I say? A million and one things ran through my head in the span of about thirty seconds, so I took a breath and let the words spill out:
The sexiest thing about Dave is the sheen of sweat on his shirtless back. I can’t believe I just wrote that
I followed that up with a message to Trent:
The demeaning things you make me do to win tickets, you smarmy bastard.
I let it be, then. I’d tried to enter his little contests over the last few days but it seemed like it wasn’t meant to happen. I’d either miss the contest altogether or be too late to the party. So, I thought nothing of it. I went about my business. Then an email notice popped up. What you see above is that notice. That was the moment when I lost all direction and the rest of day became a surreal dream. The message said to send an email to an address he specified (and no, I’m not giving it out, so don’t ask) with a particular subject line, and then they would email back with instructions. I just got the confirmation.
So, Erica and I will be rocking Camden, NJ on June 5th, not from the lawn as we’d expected, but from good seats. Afterward, we’ll be backstage, and I have every intention of giving Trent a copy of ALT as my way of saying thanks. I can’t even properly relate to you folks how I’m feeling right now. The closest word I can think of is simply “elated.”