The description of the dear departed friend in "Virginia" describes someone we all may have known somewhere in our pasts, the friend who was more like family and left lasting memories and creating memorable life experiences by just being young. Bazan's lyrics paint a picture combining those memories along with thoughts of how a present-day reconnection might be, with imagery like "we all sat on the floor as my kids swam around us, you smoked cigarettes like I knew you would." The chorus is a combination of a question of where exactly the afterlife would take his friend -- "we were worried about your personal salvation. Was it heaven or hell that you saw when your eyes closed?" -- along with the answer he knew in his heart all along: "You smiled it off, floating high above the question like you knew something we didn't know."
The feelings involved with the reconnection found in "Eating Paper" are much different. They show that absence or abandonment can't be absolved with a simple reappearance at the end. The lyric "My younger sisters and brothers have grown to be stronger and smarter than you believe" seem to point to a parental-type figure. The words "while this might be the rare occasion where high tide lifts all boats, I'm keeping my head down under the water 'cause man, I've got to get there on my own" point out that you can't always fix the mistakes of the past with a simple action. The allusions to the subject of the words appearing just at supper are reminiscent of that person we all know who always comes around when they have the opportunity to gain something instead of being there when they're actually needed.
"Strange Negotiations" is a sadly accurate observation on the changes a couple goes through during a messy breakup and could possibly be telling the tale of a particularly nasty divorce. Divorce itself is a strange negotiation, one that no one thinks they'll ever have when they decide to spend their life with someone else. Love has a way of changing to something sinister and hateful in certain circumstances, creating the potential for accusations and fighting -- even when the whole situation is a loss for both parties. Bazan brings this up in the lines "You're kicking and screaming to get your way again but the writing is on the wall" and "Any minute you'll go on to your reward but someone else is gonna make the call." The loss of other relationships that follow a divorce are also visible with images like "I could write you off so easily except a hundred million other people agree" and "I'm a stranger in my hometown."