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Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

“Do you still have your blink-182 shirt?” I text my older sister while simultaneously looking for their early 2000s merch,  listening to the blink-182 playlist on Youtube, and skipping all the sad songs because I’m not trying to cry tonight.

Enema Of The State was one of the first CDs I ever owned. My older sister got it for me for my 10th (maybe 11th or 12th, or 9th) birthday or for Hanukkah or something—there is a 51 percent that I actually stole it from her—and I listened to it endlessly on my bulky black Walkman with these little yellow accents.

I remember coming home from my “alternative” elementary school and my aforementioned older sister playing “I Miss You” on our equally bulky stereo and her and her friends arguing over how Tom pronounces “head” because it sounds like he is saying “yed.”

“Aliens Exist” was my favorite song. For some strange reason that isn’t really strange at all, it was the song I related to the most. I still know all the lyrics. Whenever Tom would sing in his endearingly whiny voice, “I’m not like you guys / I’m not like you” it still gives me the chills because I related so strongly with being an outsider, with feeling so inherently different than everyone else. With believing in the things that people thought were weird like ghosts or magic or aliens.

In an interview with Papermag, Tom shamelessly and outwardly talks about his belief in aliens and actually making contact with them. “I kept telling the guys: if anything was going to happen, it would happen at three in morning, because that’s the time when things like this happen. Don’t ask me why,” he says in the interview. And he isn’t wrong, trust me. As a partial insomniac, I am either up until 3 or 6 a.m. or I wake up periodically through the night and whenever I wake up at 3 a.m. I make sure to stay in bed.

“Waat is up? How ahre youuuu?” My dad says in his (supposedly) thick Israeli-accent—I can’t hear it—as I climb into his car. (We are back in 2018.)

“I’ve been listening to blink-182 in the dark on a loop for  three hours.”

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