Time to trade in The Strokes for the pokes as you head for your first colonoscopy. You honestly thought this day would never come, living that gentrifier bohemian life of the early 2000s New York indie rock scene. Bring your ears back to Brooklyn and dive into the top 20 songs by The Strokes to help distract you on your big special day. Think about the wild nights of your early twenties and how poor decision-making has added extra urgency. The appointment is set – time to see the doc and act cool for the camera!
You are solidly in your mid-40s, pal. No more riding around the facts and saying “someday” to your colonoscopy. Plus your family has a history of colon cancer, so this is actually pretty fucking important to get checked out. You listen to this upbeat tune from their first album and take an Uber but lie to the driver for some reason about where you’re going. You say you’re going to Trader Joe’s, even though he watches you walk into Sunshine Gastroenterology.
“What Ever Happened?”
What happened to you, man? You used to party all night at The Knitting Factory shows. The Moldy Peaches once stayed on your couch. You knew someone who knew someone who once made out with Karen O. You remember nosebleeds from railing lines off barstools, but now there’s just blood found in your own stool. It’s actually a really good thing that you’re getting this done, there’s been weird random gut pain whenever you crush a Bud Light Lime-A-Rita these days. Instead of knocking back shots, you’re chugging bowel prep medication. There’s just no way to make completely emptying yourself look hip, but you’ll somehow find a way.
“I’ll Try Anything Once (“You Only Live Once” demo)”
It’s your first time getting a colonoscopy so you’re a little nervous. You look around the waiting room, wondering when you lost your edge. You bet this kid reading a Highlights Magazine next to you never stayed up all night dancing on a Brooklyn brownstone rooftop, smoking and watching fireworks, that’s for sure. What a square. You were in Brooklyn before it was even cool, man. You throw on your AirPods and crank up The Strokes to make sure you’ll be making a doctor’s visit for your tinnitus in the near future as well.
“Ask Me Anything”
You realize you should be going on more daily walks after they take your weight and have you fill out some paperwork. Your name is called and you go in to chat with Dr. Winogrand. You bet this boring old doctor hasn’t seen Julian Casblancas perform a solo show at Arlene’s Grocery, that’s for sure. That show was so dope, though. One of the best nights of your life. You high-five yourself mentally and look around at his diplomas as he asks about your extreme alcohol consumption, constant smoking and meat-rich diet. The conversation is so stressful you consider pounding a cigarette and a Slim Jim in the parking lot.
Remember when you used to scarf down two Papaya hot dogs, a Coke, a dollar slice of pizza and call it a night? Your metabolism was so impressive. Now it’s heartburn city and constant constipation. As the doctor scolds you because you haven’t eaten a vegetable since 2012, you think about how cool The Strokes looked in their tight fits and tousled hair. You reminisce about how you once aspired to look like that. You could never dress like them now in your lame suburban town. I bet your kind elderly neighbors don’t even know how to get to the L train.
This more recent song by The Strokes makes you wonder why you abandoned your creative pursuits. Instead of ever actually learning that guitar, the income from your horrendous finance job went straight up your nose or towards the all-night Williamsburg bar scene. You could even smoke in bars back then. You remember when the ban went into effect, as you change into your medical gown. You look fine on the outside but you know that a lifetime of bad decisions has left your stomach looking like a charred pot. Plus you sold that guitar years ago when you left NYC for the ‘burbs, you fucking normie.
Let’s get this propofol rolling. You love their sophomore album and think about this song as the anesthesia team gets this party started. They lay you down on your left side and you think about how these popular sedative drugs would’ve been at your Lower East Side parties. That familiar childlike giddiness sets in and you stare sideways at a calendar that hasn’t been changed to this month yet. This minor details makes you question the competence of the medical staff but you’re way too high for your usual thrum of anxiety.
This is it. This is the song of questionable bathroom decisions at the Bowery Ballroom. This is the song you took a body shot off James Murphy to. This is the song you and your friends from Kim’s Video would blast from a railroad apartment at 3 a.m. You can’t help yourself, you dance a bit while lying down sideways. You love busting out a groove to this song but every time you try to do a little dance, the nurse tells you to stay still or you could tear your colon lining.
“When it Started”
You are knocked out cold aaand it’s going in. Here we go. This is vulnerability. Almost as vulnerable as that night you blacked out at Pianos. There was an insane deal on PBR. They were “cool” again and those beer/shot combos were like sirens. You had completely evacuated your insides from all orifices in a nearby alley, lying in the fetal position until your roommate’s friend recognized you and somehow stuffed you into a cab. As the colonoscope travels up your rectum to your colon, there is comfort knowing you have a 6-pack of ice-cold PBR tallboys sitting in your fridge at this very moment. You tell yourself you bought them for nostalgia, not because they were steeply discounted.
“Under Cover of Darkness”
It is fully inside, plunged in the darkness known as you. Life wasn’t always a bed of roses in New York, man. Such an expensive city. $20 flies out of your pocket every time you step outside. Getting your life together after the 2008 recession was tricky, too. You remember you couldn’t go to a Strokes concert at Rockwood Music Hall because you had taken some temp job commuting from fucking Long Island and had a work function conflict. That was the beginning of the end, man. Soon you’d be barbecuing in the suburbs, where Steve down the road hasn’t even heard of TV on the Radio. Steve keeps inviting you to pickleball, but death seems more appealing.