Sometimes, The Heart Bleeds to Pop Punk

There are days when I need to listen to pop punk. It can serve as a constant reminder of my roots as an overly serious teenager. Ironic, considering most pop punk is about being immature, stupid, and doing things I never did.

There are gems. Songs with enough emotional weight they crawl inside my soul and pick at scabs on long-buried scars. I can’t seem to shake some of those lost child feelings.

No matter how much I want to believe I can.

One of those songs is I miss you by Blink 182.

Blink 182 is the band best known for having a porn star with a giant rubber glove on the cover of their most famous album. They epitomize the “eternal adolescents” associated with pop punk.

I think they have more to offer. The same album as What’s My Age Again has Adam’s Song. Yes. A song about being incapable of growing up laser-etched into the same plastic as a song about depression and suicide.

One more reason I lament the death of the album. But, I will save that rant for another time.

Fast forward a few years to their self-titled album, and you see some deep songs. They were on the tipping point of pop punk and emo, and they knew it.

It is no surprise Blink 182 was my favorite of their albums. By the time it came out in 2003, I was transitioning from angst-filled-teen to self-destructive-young-adult.

I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with five other people, broke, unstable, and thinking I’d be okay popping stimulants like tic-tacs.

My bad decisions weren’t limited to how I spent my money or the horrible chemicals I put in my body. They ran the full gamut. The most volatile part of my life?

Romantic relationships.

I don’t think I can give justice to how bad I was at relationships in one blog post. Looking back on it, you wouldn’t be wrong to consider me a monster.

I wasn’t a good or healthy person, and worse, I knew it.

But, I had friends and family in my life who wouldn’t (and still haven’t) given up on me.

I miss you evokes all of it. The second verse feels written for 20-year-old Matt:

Where are you?
And I’m so sorry,
I cannot sleep
I cannot dream tonight.

I need somebody
And always,
This sick, strange darkness
Comes creeping on
So haunting every time.

I spent nights in the dark—hands shaking, eyes wet—waiting for everyone to realize they were better off without me.

It’s been almost fourteen years since I lived in that crowded basement apartment. I’ve grown and learned. But, part of me is still there, in the dark.


Author’s Note

Damn. Got dark at the end, didn’t I? Was not what I intended when I set out to write this post tonight.

I need an emotional palate cleanser.

Time to watch panda videos.