The Cars – “Bye Bye Love”

When: June 2009
Where: My mom’s car, with the seat all the way back.
Who: My mom
Weather: Drug-inducedly hazy

Ah, the summer of misanthropy. This was unequivically the worst summer of my life. I accomplished nothing. I had no one to talk to. It was generally unpleasant, and for the first time I realized how ugly low-rise jeans are.

History would later vindicate me, but the combination of a hot summer, a shitty neighborhood, my near-total retreat from contemporary culture and the looming specter of my mom leaving my dad only hastened my anxiety. I kept making Monty Park videos and I kept wanting to stop, I hated doing them now, but I couldn’t. It was a compulsion, my last link to the happy life that was. And that was the scariest thing of all.

Oh dear God no, I thought to myself. “I’m that guy. I’m stuck in high school.” Eventually I realized that back in high school I had a lot more self-discipline. I made my own fun, and I’d have to learn that skill again. More and more I was shying away from the Monty Park brand, and that summer I decided to write articles about cancelled TV shows called “The Summer Replacement.” Freaks and Geeks came first, then Undeclared, and then I had to get my wisdom teeth taken out.

I went to the specialist, lay down, and fifteen minutes later I woke up, only to have the nurse tell me I’d been asleep for well over an hour. The aching was horrific and they gave me Vicodin for it. I was starting to get into The Cars at the time, and I listened to the first album as my mom drove me home. This song in particular blew me away, probably because I’d never heard it before and it had an awesome synth solo.

I spent several days wandering in and out of sleep, all hours of the day, periodically aching, eating mashed potatoes and watching The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. It was suitably surreal. And then somebody stole my leftover Vicodin, so I stole it back and threw it away.

I got better.

Next: …but not right away.


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