I used to have this vivid blue and black windbreaker. However, it was nowhere near as vivid as an April afternoon sky, twenty plus years ago. I remember being profiled by it, and swallowed within its deep oceanic awe. You know the kind of sky I’m talking about; they absolutely steal the breath away, don’t they? Copyright law prevents me from quoting the actual lyrics but listen to the song “Palo Alto” by Radiohead. You will know the line when you hear it. It always reminds me of that jacket contrasting with the open universe. That these things somehow became inextricably linked in my mind only furthers the sense of connection I feel when I ponder that vast view nestled within my memory.
Speaking of Radiohead (seriously, listen to this band if you have not yet), my first car was an ‘88 gold Bonneville. This thing was a fucking beast. So, too, is the album OK Computer. My first listen of it was in that seemingly mafia-themed car. This sky was not blue but fire. The memory is equally beautiful. Because of this soul-defining moment, I still try to listen to albums for the first time with wheels spinning beneath me.
But let’s return to blue skies. For this one, I am in a verdant field post-Wine Fest. Yet, that is not why I am drunk. Instead, I am intoxicated by the company I had on that nondescript blanket and, above all else, the space above. Try really looking into skies that have some personality – closest I’ve ever come to God.
One might ask, justifiably, why any of this matters? Well, during this past and incessant winter, a woman I loved asked me, “Are you real?” That is the best question I have ever been asked and the warmth of it still radiates up to now, the cusp of spring, as I realize I very well may need to cut this person out of my life. That jacket is long gone. I crashed that car. I doubt I could find that field again even if I tried. Life, like the weather, has seasons. Things flourish. Things die. But in these memories, it is always spring, it is always hopeful, and there always exists a sanctuary from the cold for me when I need it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to some music. I think you know who. I think you know what I shall see.