This line is taken from REM's Automatic For The People. I won't get into the lyric noding of the album, as I'm sure it's been done before and if it hasn't then we shouldn't because of copyright but sometimes don't you want to know what's in the song and what's wrong with sharing words and why do the record companies do what they...

Er. Nevermind.

Anyway, I'm spending this morning noding in E2, as Slashdot has gone down for some strange reason. Not a very normal event, so I'm casting about for other, more enjoyable activites than getting in the sysadmin's way.

I digress. Automatic is probably one of the albums that's had a most significant impact on my life. Each song on there seems to personify a different flashbulb memory of a time and place; most of them are associated with the summer dem bones and I were living in the apartment that burned down. (Hmmm...perhaps I should node landlords who don't fix electrical wires ruin lives.) That time occupies a special place in my heart, with folks like lawnjart, thefez, gilded frame, coby, clampe, SamZenpus a regular fixture in that house. We sang sin. We drank gin.

The song Nightswimming conjures up images of Clampe's cottage on Lake Michigan, and the summer of the grape game and other frivolties. Those summers were some of the most enjoyable of my life, and I suspect that this meandering node is mostly about how songs impact you, and the memories they create. So, uncap the Strawberry Hill, and think about the time past.

(I sing this song for you, Shawn.)

I can feel the summer giving way in my bones, just from the weight of the air. This time is coming to a close. You have been gone for weeks now, and I have felt my love subsiding into a quiet place where it need not speak aloud.

I am leaving tomorrow.

I have never grown so much. I am on my back in the waters, trying to say goodbye in my own way in my head, as the friends who feel like family move around me in hushed giggles, trying not to give away our midnight trespasses.

You, I thought I knew you. You, I cannot judge.

But you judged me.

The moon is circling overhead. The clouds obscure it as they always do. I feel the motion of the earth as the motion in my arms, propulsion in a thick dark medium of sound.

I wonder where you are now. I wonder how it was possible that the tropics awakened something in my blood so violently as they did and then ripped me open. All my world came crumbling down this summer, and now Autumn threatens to bring it to a close.

I crumbled and was destroyed that I could at last step back and rebuild.

I feel so full I can hardly believe I float.

I am full with the stars and the clouds and the night on the beach when I let my better judgement get away from me, when in my passion I lost you forever. I am full with the excitement of death, when we nearly were washed into the sea when her air ran out underwater, and we couldn’t get back down into the caves that lay below us for the tide. I am exploding with the notion that these have been the best days of my life.

Exploding in a quiet night, amidst the friends I love. Without you. As it shall always be, and it is better for that. The moon makes a subtle smile as my companion.

And what if there were two, side by side in orbit around the fairer sun...

Perhaps I will look back at a picture of this someday and laugh. I know I will. You gave me something, and you took it away as quickly. But I am thankful for that. Go on, Shawn, and live with yourself at peace. Blame me. It makes me freer. And I can sail off into my own night sky, dreaming of the places to come, weighed heavily with the things you’ve shown me about myself and the world, and what I thought I knew about you.

(lyrics from Nightswimming, by REM)

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