I still don’t know what to say. One of my dearest, sweetest friends surprised me with birthday tickets to Blink’s Blink-182 tenth anniversary tour.
I cried when I saw the marquis. I cried to the opening licks of Feelin’ This. I bawled during I Miss You. And I cried during pretty much everything else. I’m not sure if it’s the extreme nostalgia factor (in junior high a good friend became one of my best friends when we bonded over both liking that weird song about spiders eating guts) or the fact that I’m old enough to have been doing something I vividly remember ten years ago, but this concert sparked a flame of emotion in me that will rage for days.
At the sound of Obvious, all the feelings came rushing over me, more real than when I’d initially felt them. I remember being an underwhelmed freshman whose insurmountable crush on a taken-but-perfect senior brought light to boredom-glazed, small-town eyes. I remember pining at parties and in the wings. I remember wading through the pool with friends, scheming and hoping and lamenting to the sounds of Roller Coaster and Here’s Your Letter (and Family Reunion when the parents weren’t listening). I remember him finally taking notice when I conquered his challenge to name all three members of the band.They were golden days and golden longings bound up in the safety of adolescence.
Blink offered a safely rebellious outlet for our unintentionally manufactured angst. I’ve realized in later years, however, that many of my childhood partners-in-mischief understood the well-concealed cries of the band better than I ever could; real, defensible angst. At party level, the music just seemed the pop-musings of ornery punk kids, but lyrics heavy with honesty and full-disclosure revealed the deep-seated troubles and fears of kids at the mercy of authority’s bad decisions.
Everything in me hungers for those days when our futures were drenched in promise and our present mistakes held little consequence. Blink-182 made sure those memories stayed memorable. But the joy in remembrance brought by my childhood soundtrack is tempered with the bearable-but-chronic pain of knowing history is final.
I guess this is growing up.