"Vampire Weekend Keep Emailing Me" by Jordan Hayward

Vampire Weekend emailed me again.

I don’t know how they found my email address. I think one of their songs might have been included in Guitar Hero.

The first email came from vampireweekend@gmail.com and said "hey, all of our songs are about how much of a loser you are. look at the lyrics sometime," and I did. I read all of their lyrics on Genius and drank two cups of jasmine green tea, and didn’t find anything that particularly resonated with me or my personhood. I didn’t reply.

The second email arrived two days later, also from vampireweekend@gmail.com, and just said "reply, don’t be a coward," though I figured it would probably be easier for me in the long run if I didn’t do as they’d asked. I blocked the email address and turned my phone off, then went outside to try to find something to take my mind off whatever was happening.

I left my apartment, turned left and walked around fifteen metres to the stairs, walked down three flights, then out into the parking garage, then out into the street. The sun wasn’t out, and I walked around six-hundred metres forward to my local coffee shop. I struggled opening the door, which felt slightly heavier than normal, or I felt slightly weaker than normal, then eventually made my way into the shop, and up to the counter.

“Hey,” I said, reasonably nonchalantly, at least it seemed that way to me, as not to give away my flustered and mildly agitated temperament in the face of a somewhat intimidatingly tattooed barista. “Could I get, uhh...”

“Do you like Vampire Weekend?” the barista asked, turning up the volume on the store’s iPad. “I really enjoyed their first album.”

A-Punk started to fill the room. “I guess,” I said. “They’re okay.”

The twelve or so customers sat at varying tables in the shop started to bob their heads to the sped-up lullaby playfulness of the riff. I looked around and felt deeply alone, like I’d just walked off a plane by myself in a foreign country. The barista seemed surprised, and gestured quite emotionally towards the window.

“Look outside,” she said, and I did. Nothing of interest seemed to be taking place. “The raincoat’s coming.”

I decided it would be a good idea to leave my local coffee shop without continuing the interaction.

The following day, I received an email from notvampireweekend@gmail.com which listed between twenty five and thirty reasons why the band thought I was a loser, with a following ten reasons detailing why they had decided to start a band with lyrical themes surrounding this, and then a couple of paragraphs that were quite obviously copy and pasted from their Wikipedia page detailing their "vast and enormous critical acclaim," something which they said I "could never hope to imagine." After some deliberation and research, I replied "Pitchfork didn’t even give your iTunes session ‘Best New Music’ so," and hoped that the retort would affect them so severely the situation would come to a natural halt.

They replied five minutes later with "what the fuck,” and I felt my face inadvertently crack into a slight smile. That night, I fell asleep with a buttery ease I hadn't felt in years, and was wrapped in a complete and wildly satisfying existential togetherness, as if things were suddenly okay, not just for me, but for everyone, as if the summer had stopped being unbearable, and people were feeling carefree about their outfits, eating meals in restaurants without worrying about the price of things, testing beds in IKEA for extended periods of time, or walking through streets with no prescribed destination. I felt fulfilled, and woke the next day feeling refreshed and entirely recharged.

Vampire Weekend emailed me again. This time it came from grammywinner2014@gmail.com, stating simply “we won the grammy in 2014,” followed by a picture of their Grammy, and a .gif of a small dog looking pitiful and snide.