In the spring I feel the urge to listen to Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. I can’t recall when that bonded itself to the season. But, now, the smell of new growth and the fading cold brings me back to it.
The walks grow longer, the overhanging branches more lush. The songs in concert with girls in sundresses smiling in city parks. That is the soundtrack to the thickening air, the speeding bikes and the burgeoning of new life, new pairings in the new daylight.
And so it is the soundtrack of being alone. There was once a girl, who loved me in a small apartment, drunk on wine and the promise of a new season. We laid together on fresh sheets and listened to the sounds of the highway. We once broke bread, and smiled from the depth of our chests. The radiant glowing sun of new lovers. And we laid there listening to music tangled in the sheets of fading winter. She exists still, somewhere in the land of girls-long-gone, happy in our moment. She is in that record, that memory of spring the awakenings there in.
It was that album playing when I drove away from her, heart sick and again alone. Her hair and smile now belonging to that place of joyous hearts and perfect memory. It was that album which coaxed me from highways to to back roads, from streetlights to headlamps lighting the trees, tear-stained and streaking.
So, it is spring, and the guitar reminds me of that place left behind. So it is spring and I stand my lonely vigil, blessed to have not forgotten the lessons of winter.
“And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I’m keeping here with me”