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June 6, 2017 Jukebox Happy Hour


Claire Greising

California photo

Album Title: California
Artist: Blink-182        
Released: July 1, 2016
Label: BMG
Length: 42 minutes, 16 songs


I don’t know if I ever actually listened to Blink-182, but I told people that I did. Afterschool, visits to Hot Topic came before homework. I slipped eyeliner in my backpack to hide from my Christian mother, applied black pencil in thick layers to my lids before first period, and then scrubbed it off before she had the chance to chastise me in her minivan going home. In 8th grade, I fibbed my way to a concert at Tinley Park to see the Neon Trees, Manchester Orchestra, and My Chemical Romance open for Blink. I sat in a field with my friends. I don’t remember hearing any music. Edie’s dad drove us home. I dyed the underside of my hair purple in Simone’s sink. I wanted the night branded onto my body. I had to wear a hood to the dinner table for two months until the color washed out.

Listening to California, I taste the plastic of my old Tamogatchi in my mouth, scratch the itchy I Love Boobies bracelets that graced my wrists, wrinkle my nose at the stench of my checkered Vans. The riff at the beginning of Bored to Death sounds like walking down the hallway to social studies. The whiny voice of Mark Hoppus makes me sweaty like waiting for my freckled boyfriend to sit next to me at the lunch table. The guitars are tuned to a grainy sepia tone. I’m having trouble writing this in present-tense.

This was never music; it was a lifestyle. Pop punk was a cult, the lyrics to I Miss You were the Lord’s Prayer whispered on knelt-down skinned-knees, Tom DeLonge was Jim Jones, Blink 182 was the sticky, red Kool Aid everyone else was drinking. I was thirsty to belong then. I’m satiated now. I don’t know if I ever actually listened to Blink-182, and I don’t know that I ever will.



20 oz. cheapest vodka
1 emptied-out Gatorade bottle
Pour vodka into bottle in bathroom. Set in sun for two hours. Drink when mom isn’t watching.


image: Bryan Bowie