I don’t write a lot of what you’d call love songs.
Broken hearts, betrayals, disillusionment, dissolution, self-destruction, simmering anger… that’s my turf. They didn’t call me the Bard of Bitterness, Denial, and Regret for nothin’…
But this is a love song. And I’ve always had a soft spot for it.
This version is a little unusual for AYoS. While it’s built around acoustic guitar, there are a couple of voices (both mine), and the second guitar, instead of noodling around the melody as usual, tries to somewhat mirror the first (and it comes oddly close, considering what a sloppy guitarist I truly am… perhaps too close to do much good). I even threw in a little echo, a stab at otherworldliness that will no doubt just irritate some purists — but what are they doing listening to me, anyhow?
A couple weeks into the new semester and he found himself not in his Comp Civ 300 class but floating lazily in a creaky-oared rowboat on the tiny pond of a WPA-built park, tucked away in the foothills, a pretty, green-eyed sophomore facing him as he put up the oars.
130 year old oaks reached out from the edges of the rowing pond and an old Spanish American War cannon poked proudly from a cement nook. When he was a kid, the ornamental wall around the cannon wasn’t there. And there were a few other cannons, as well, strewn haphazardly along the banks. Like toys a once-proud owner couldn’t bear to throw out, he thought once, walking through the deserted park long after closing.
There’d been an older man rowing aimlessly around the pond when they got there but his time ran out or he got bored soon enough and they were left alone on the water. A radio buzzed faintly from the boathouse and a handful of little kids played on the cannon. It was a weekday and quiet enough that he could hear the nearly still water lapping gently against the boat.
He had the oars up and now sprawled out his legs and leaned back, gazing at her.
A trio of crows flew in loose formation across the half-sky that opened between the trees over the pond. Faint, rippled clouds floated high in a preternaturally blue sky. A pair of ducks quacked in undecipherable sequence from the other side of the pont, 50 yards away. In the boathouse, somebody changed the radio from one rock station to another. So faint he almost couldn’t make it out: Sam Cook’s “You Send Me.”
She was wearing a white, linen dress… the kind where the neckline is low and the shoulders are apparently designed to keep falling down the arm . Her dark hair tumbled over her shoulders, a half smile played on her unrouged lips and her green eyes held his gaze. Her long, tanned leg reached out so her sandal-less foot could momentarily touch the side of his thigh. In the moment of the gesture he found a world of dreams and fears, swirling like a cosmos in formation then disappearing back into whatever dimension holds our deepest and most secret longings.