Damian Kulash told Purevolume
the story of the song: "Our bassist Tim wrote the initial demo for this song, and in his temp lyrics (we'll usually put scraps of phrases or gibberish in the earliest versions of our songs and then fill the ideas in more when the song has taken more shape), he'd used the phrase 'the writing's on the wall.'"
"The line seemed to capture the melancholic air of the song, so I tried to write from Tim's perspective about a difficult break up he'd just been through, letting it revolve around that moment when you feel the end coming," he continued.
"What's crazy is that less than a month after the song was done, my wife left me, pretty much out of the blue," Kulash concluded. "So apparently I was writing about my own life, not Tim's, and I didn't even know it."