Ten Cents Is A Lot More Than Nothing

by Penny Arcade

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Ten Cents Is A Lot More Than Nothing is a compilation of songs I wrote over the past year about being honest with myself. I hope it makes you feel something. Note: If free downloads are out on bandcamp, please use this link to download the album for free on Mediafire. www.mediafire.com?u71ab7499faow66


released November 30, 2012



all rights reserved


Penny Arcade Akron, Ohio

Just passing time until a Dashboard Confessional cover band becomes plausible.

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Track Name: Brave Little Toaster
Angi opens early, so I don’t want to text
but I’ll confess that tonight I’m a mess.
And I remember the time she let me over at one in the morning
just so I could stare at her ceiling.

Prinzo, thanks for everything. I’ve found meaning
and I’ve been writing it down as it comes to me.

These are the attic sessions,
a story of there and back again,
a tale through the eyes of a suburbian.
These towns are like islands
and these songs bridge you to where I am,
but I hope you never feel the same.
Everyone feels the same.

I’m waiting for the turn table to turn itself on
and play me a sad song about doing nothing at all.
This notebook and pen have been my company
during the day in class when I’m suffering.

These people all look so worn out to me. I’m afraid
of growing up, breaking down, caving in, and being nothing.

I’ve been telling myself
I’ve got to start being optimistic,
so I’ve been telling myself
that I’m ready to be alone.
I’ve been telling myself
I’ve got to start holding on to something and
I’ve been finding change under the passenger seat
and ten cents is a hell of a lot more than nothing.
Track Name: EarthBound
So you beat me to the punch, naming a song
after a Nintendo game I was going to write all along
and I am bitter, oh,
but not down.
Because I’m still eighteen, still full of fight,
still upping the ante, still think I’m right
and I will be the one
to take her home tonight.

That’s a lie if I've ever told one,
because I kissed a girl once,
and that was about all.

This is my view from the launch pad.
I am Earthbound and coming back.
How could I sleep soundly
knowing that Onett needs me?

Science ate everything
that I’ve ever thought was poetry
and we are running out
of mystery.
This is about to be a wicked boss fight,
we are going up against NASA tonight.
So are you in or out?
Let’s get a show of hands.

You know, if I could cut this two-star town a break, I really would,
but as long as Sheetz is open at all hours, we’ll be there,
like we should.
Track Name: My Life As Casshern
Maxwell House and coffee nights,
when I sleep in late it’s a big surprise
but I usually get pissed off anyway.
I suffer lack of motivation and short attention.
I’ve made bad decisions with the best intentions
and I know that I’m the one that started the Ruin.

I’m sorry, but I’ll do what I have to do.

But I’ve been sticking to my guns like you told me to Dad
and doing my best to love everyone back
but if I don’t call back by morning let me go.
Leave me behind.
I need some space and time to grow.
This back was never meant to carry us both.
I needed to know I don’t have to feel like this.
I need to go.

I destroy every girl that I touch skin to skin,
put them in hospital beds or on medication.
So much for being the hero.
I told myself that I won’t promise
anything to anyone
because I get tired of letting those I love down.

I’m getting good at being everything I hate.

I never meant to leave you face down,
I just want to be free and eastbound,
somewhere where the sun is coming up
and I don’t have to feel so down.
Track Name: Dude, I Hope That Waitress Calls Me
When we look back at tonight will we laugh or cry?
Three down, one to go and I haven’t realized
which side of the hill we’re on.
Our friends are getting high and we’re talking about Pokemon.
We make bold moves for nervous boys.
Modest hearts and level heads.
The girls at school don’t understand
that orange isn’t sexy from spray tans.

We leave our numbers for the waitresses at Steak n’ Shake,
set pointless road trips up for places that are far away,
we walk for miles some days just to get a soda pop,
we spend our Friday nights hanging out in parking lots.
And I don’t think she’ll call back anyway,
but that’s all right,
man I guess that we’re all doing okay.

I spend all my money on vinyl LPs.
My gas gauge has never been above E.
I drove to the store just to get Sprees,
they didn’t have them, I guess I’m just unlucky.
And I spent midnight on the swing set
behind the school on Main Street
doing my best to figure out what life means.

These are the stories of our lives.
On empty pages we do write.
I’m biding my time for blue skies.
I’m treading water for now, I won’t drown tonight.
Track Name: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde
You weren't promised anything when you die
other than that written down by liars.
I still have just as many questions,
maybe slightly more transparent and significantly more alone.
Still pacing through living rooms and parking lots
looking for a place to sanction or at least a home to haunt.

I’m just a ghost with clean sheets, no money, and gasoline.
I've been wading through this fall alone.
I was holding onto something, but I forget what lately
and I've been thinking of picking up and moving on.

I hear the East coast is shitty this time of year.
I could write more sad songs about finding where I belong.

I have friends who talk to gods they don’t believe in,
begging to believe in anything at all.
The things I would give to feel whole again:
these worn out Vans, empty lungs, and an acoustic guitar.
But all I am is cigarette smoke you’re washing off your clothes
as soon as you get home.

I’m just a ghost with clean sheets, no money, and gasoline.
I've been wading through this fall alone.
I was holding onto something, but I forget what lately
and I've been warding off anxiety attacks down to the bone.

All that I am is skin and bones.
I've become at expert at surviving
the worst nights.

And honestly, I've been dead since before we even met.
Track Name: Daylight Saving Time
I’ve been biting my tongue so hard lately
because I know how bad you want to hear I’m down,
but honestly, I’ve been finding faith in all the little things
like pop punk and sleepless nights
and diving headfirst into things I know I’m
never coming out of alive.

So I’m sitting on a couch at a house show in Akron
where I’ve never been and I sure as hell don’t belong.
One day I’ll plan my next moves out
but I think I’ll sink between the cushions,
just sink between the cushions for now.

I’ve got an extra hour of sunlight to burn today
and I promised God I wouldn’t kill myself until I’d spent it.
I know that by the end of the night
I probably won’t even feel the same.

I write songs that are twice as optimistic as I feel.
I’ll lie my way into feeling okay.
If people cheat death then I’m sure I can cheat sadness.
This New Years, I made myself a resolution
that when spring came I was coming out swinging
but I wouldn’t force myself into anything.

When they bury me, put me somewhere I belong
at the bottom of a lake or behind Circle K.
Include a list of all the things that I did wrong
so you’ll remember me just the way I was.
Track Name: Dead Bird Was Jesus Christ
It’s safe to say I’m happy,
just scared to show it
after these past few years
and fear of falling apart.
It’s like saying “I love you,”
and why rock the boat
when sailing has been
almost smooth?

There’s a train across the woods
that I call Stability
and since I was young,
it’s been singing me to sleep
every night between
two and three in the morning.

I forget that.

I’m clinging onto Seymour
and Salinger for dear life
and now I’m convinced
that Dead Bird was Jesus Christ
we found behind Acme
on the docks one day.
And I’m almost done
writing sad songs for a while.

But that is a promise that I will probably break before
word reaches you that I’ve even made it
but at least I’ve been trying
to keep my hands clean.
At least I know now,
these bloodstains don’t mean a thing.

There are some scars
that we need to wear with pride.

This summer I was out to prove
that angst can settle down without losing youth
and I can grow older
without growing up.

Now those years are nothing more than a paper cut.
Track Name: The Kraken Ate My Hands And Now I'm Nothing
I was cleaning out the back seat of my car today.
There are so many things here that I just don’t need anymore.
This is the kind of shit that belongs in the closet with sad bag;
that thing makes me miserable.
So I’m left with a stack of DVDs that I wish you would have sold for gas money
to get you from here to wherever you need to be.
I wish you would have burned them.
You could have done anything at all except for given them back to me.

I’ll gnaw my fingers off so that I cannot hold the phone
and no matter how many times she calls, I can’t answer her.
From the bed my phone will scream and on the floor I’ll fall asleep,
waking up to a thousand messages about how we were never meant to be.

When you are young,
you make a choice between suffocation and drowning.
And I am sorry you were caught
on the wrong end of every plan I made.
But I am tired of your acronyms
and I am sleeping on the ceiling from here on out.
And I am working up the guts to swallow my tongue,
careful not to let how I feel fall out of my mouth.

I was standing on the third base.
You were crying from the bleachers,
begging me to play it safe.
I was looking for the home steal
and all I wanted was someone behind me.
all I wanted was somebody there.
Track Name: Voyager
September, I’m scared. It feels like you’re cooling down without me
when I have barely had the chance to pick myself up off my knees,
whatever that means, when you’re coming from this town
and summer hardly ever comes around.

Oxygen is so scarce up here
and my lungs are frantic to draw you in.
She tells me I’m free to float forever now, just don’t bother coming back home.
I am Voyager. I am alone.

I’ve been obsessing over space lately.
I am curious and intrigued
as to what it’s going to cost me emotionally to leave
the atmosphere and who I love all behind me.
Track Name: Caffeinated Slushies
Raise the dead. We are an army
who refuses to lie down anymore.
And I have traversed this world between shaking hands and broken feet,
so where did you get off thinking you can tell me to

cut that shit out, we aren’t Brand New,
and shouldn’t I have better things to do
than obsess over my meaning
conveying it back to you?
Sometimes I think I’m in over my head
when I know I haven’t even started yet.
Sometimes I have trouble deciding
if I’m really sinking or have I just been
biding my time?

If songs are like ghosts, then these are the ones who chose to haunt me most
and honestly, it’s disappointing.
What does that say about my soul? Didn’t I ever learn to let go
of anything and everything I don’t know?

It’s not a question of whether I have skeletons
but learning how to fall asleep soundly with them.
I’m only getting dealt one hand
so I might as well go all in.
I’ve been measuring my success
by the three picks that I still haven’t lost yet
between the wall and the baseboard
so I can keep playing these chords.

I’ll just write these songs all night
and one day, the feeling will fade,
it’s just not now.
So tell me that I’ll make it out alive
from this week, and I will be alright.
I will go to bed if you tell me to
and wake up fine.
But I’ve been having these dreams the world is ending
and as a result, I’m cutting back on caffeine,
it makes me wonder why people eat tragedy up
like they’ve been starving.
Track Name: I Pictured You... Taller
Do you remember back in seventh grade when social caste was an issue?
Who was still playing Pokemon Red and who was dating who?
I tried to learn everything I know about being a teenager from 80's movies
about leather jackets, chasing tail, and groupies.

But the truth is, no one really gives a shit
by the time that you hit high school.
No matter how many times that I watch Dazed and Confused,
I won't be falling asleep on the fields tonight.

So let's go get milkshakes and make out in the car while we still can.
We won't be seventeen forever, and I don't know if that's a bad thing.
But I'll write it down, I've been chasing sounds
all over this cold suburban town and I tell myself I won't be down forever
if I can only keep my head above the water.

And I can count the times that I've defeated grief
by the straws Jake leaves in the backseat
from the hours we've spent loitering in the Taco Bell off Main Street.
I don't feel like going down tonight.

Maybe I'm right.
Maybe this is the only way to get by.
Track Name: Jane Gallagher
So this is the ocean, wild and alone.
It pulls away the anchor beneath my feet.
Summer swallowed me, swallowed me whole,
filled with Get Up Kids Cds and my loose cannon pen of honesty.

She pinky swears not a thing will change when we go off to college
and I am holding to you it,
because if I can’t hold myself together to get through the semester,
I am showing up on your door step.

You were always Jane and I was always Holden holding on.
Too scared to pick up the phone and too drunk to go home.
But tonight you’re coming with me and we are getting coffee
and you will talk me down, like you always do
and I will tell you all about the last day of school where I fell asleep
and drove crying home to Twelve Feet Deep.

Alex told me, don’t forget to Wonder
while I Wither.
I’ve never really had a problem
with doing either.
But I will not condemn the rain for doing unto me
what I have done to them.
And the art of breathing has always amazed me.
The way that you take air in and push me out, so melancholy.

You pinned your letter up on my wall.
I pinned my heart to your sleeve.
My hands are on my side of the table.
I’m taking only what I need.
We were lying on the roof at one.
I was wondering what forever means.
You said you’d keep the fireflies up at night
if that was what it’d take to save me.
Track Name: The Clock Tower
Well I've been thinking about this two-star town of our,
and I'm getting sick of putting quarters in the meter.
The clock is ticking and I'm watching the time run out
to get out of here.
Everybody's off chasing their dreams
and I'm here feeling the same.
I guess I can't blame this town for me being down,
it's just easier than accepting defeat.

One more sleepless night and I might break,
the anxiety's getting its way.
The only thing that gets me through the day
are The Wonder Years and Circle K.
There's no time for feeling alive
and these bags under my eyes...
This ship's capsized and life's a landslide.

Well I've been thinking about the one-way streets downtown
and they all head to the same dead end.
These parts are full of doing it halfway;
letter written and never sent.
Your life is nothing more than what you've done,
at least that's what Jackie said.
Then again, he was playing ball
and I'm just trying to keep from losing my head.

Meet me at the clock tower at midnight tonight.
I swear we're getting out alive.
Meet me at the clock tower under the moonlight
and we're gone.
Track Name: You Can't Die, I Love You
Simplify your insides down to what you want
and just how to go about getting it.
The truth is all my friends have more steel in their bones than me
when it comes to following heart strings.

But everyone I know has tried to kill themselves at least one time
or thought about it more than they’re willing to admit.

J said, “keep yourself busy and you won’t have time to break down,”
and you were right, that was the best advice all the way up until now,
because I spent high school peak torn to pieces in Spencer’s back seat.
Please, just leave me here with air to

breathe, or someone to please,
and broken feet- anything at all really.

I’d like to think I lace hope between every line I write about giving up.
Honestly, my outlook changes from day to day.
I found every friend and memory I need inside this town
and I won’t ever let the last notes of our favorite songs fade away.