When I was in high school, my stereo had a supremely useful function: alarm clock. Whatever CD was in tray 1, track 1, could be the soundtrack to my waking each school day. Being 15, I couldn’t set it at a reasonable volume - no, I needed to have it as loud as possible to properly shake me from my slumber. After a few unsatisfactory choices, I stumbled upon my wake up music.
The song begins with 5 seconds of guitar feedback, then four hits to the bell of a ride cymbal, before the pounding drums and reedy Moog synthesizer set the tone. A fuzzy bass then kicks in and the song is really on its way.
This is where I had a little joke with myself. I would answer the vocals:
RC: I’m tired
BS: Me too
RC: So tired
BS: Me too
RC: I’m tired of having sex
BS: Not me
This song was an inspired choice for a few reasons. I thought it would somehow piss off my parents to have me blasting a song about promiscuity. Looking back, I doubt they noticed. I also thought the music itself would put a damper on their morning coffee and newspaper reading. I rebelled in strange ways.
But the song was also appropriate because of what it represented which, to put it bluntly, was the polar opposite of my 15 year old experience. I wasn’t tired of having sex, I was tired of hopelessly, desperately, feverishly wanting sex.
Except, I didn’t at all.
But I did.
I was a bit of a late bloomer, and at 15, the thought of having sex was both the zenith of my dreams and the nadir of my nightmares. Girls were scary, beautiful, mysterious creations of a loving God who was constantly mocking me with my total inability to talk to them, let alone woo them. I don’t think I’m alone in being the type of sensitive white kid who was nicknamed “faggot” for a good chunk of middle school, and at 15 the only girls in school who regularly talked to me were the fellow nerdy girls who managed to be even more repressed and slow blooming than I was.
And so to hear a song about someone who was actually tired of having sex - like, he wanted to stop having sex - was a mind blowing idea. But I wasn’t angry, the way I might have been if one of the asshole jocks from my high school was bragging about his conquests; no, I saw this as opportunity. Rivers Cuomo was an awkward shrub of a man, with glasses thicker than mine, and a weird first name. If he could be knee deep in poontang, maybe I had a shot at it one day?
Spoiler alert: never happened. Just a few months later I met the girl who wound up being my wife, and 15 years later, we have a 10 month old daughter, a dog, and a condo in suburbia. The rockstar life was not for me. But for those fleeting moments between 6:30 and 6:40 AM, I flirted with the idea of being a man so desired by the ladies that I would eventually tire of their attention.
And that was the most successful flirting I did that entire year.