From The Vault: Spring’s Bittersweet Symphony
This column originally appeared in the March 21, 2002, edition of The Breeze. In the original article I incorrectly and idiotically attributed “Bittersweet Symphony” to Third Eye Blind and I heard about it for weeks afterward. I’m taking the liberty of changing that for this here post because it seems insulting that I would attribute an awesome song like that to Stephen Jenkins. It’s practically sacrilegious actually. BTW, Amy asked me the other day about the strange photos on this here blog. Basically, when I have a topic, I hop on Google search and try to find the creepiest photo I can to match the article. This photo seems springy and symphonic. I think it also qualifies as creepy. We all win!
BTW, I updated the random thoughts and lingo posts with new stuff! They’re in blue. They’re the new blue thangs basically.
Enjoy the article, because it’s hitting you right…about…now…
The next time you see me, I’ll likely have a ridiculous grin on my face, shamefully nappy hair and a thin stream of snot running directly into my mouth.
Nothing new, you say.
Au contrair, Corvair.
It’s Spring. That’s what’s new.
Medication has no affect on the forces I’m dealing with. Valium can’t stop the grinning. Rave can’t tame the fly-aways. Allegra can’t curb the sneezing.
I’m fine with that, my pale-faced friends. Fine as frog hair. For Spring is in the air.
Yes, Wednesday marked the official ushering in of Spring, and we are alive and well here in Utopia.
Spring to me means sunburns, haywire hay fever, blistering and/or blustery track meets, robins, funky hair, sweaty pits and windows gone ajar.
Our new season means virgin white legs burning and peeling in the sun for the first time in seven months, sunscreen neglected in camera bags for another six months and beautifully disheveled and windblown people everywhere you go.
And nothing, I mean nothing, can wipe this stupid grin off my mug.
Spring–more than anything though–reminds me of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.”
When I was a junior at UNK, I had a silly little beater of a car. Those of you with memories of said car know exactly what I’m speaking of when I say ‘rice grinder’.
I loved it. It had no power windows. No power locks. No power seats. No air. No radio for quite a while. Definitely no spare tire. Who had the money for such luxuries? I could fill it up with gas every other week for $12 and drive everywhere I wanted to go. It was amazing.
I don’t even remember if it had a motor. I think I saw Smurfette running to beat hell under there when I checked the oil that one time. (Yeah, one single time. What can I say?)
Anyhootie, I digress horribly.
It seems just like 1998 when this happened (mainly cuz it was). Spring hit on the Friday we were released for a week-long break.
I wasn’t headed for Lake Havasu, the Bahamas or Cancun like the frat dudes, but you wouldn’t have known it by looking at the ludicrous smirk on my noggin.
After classes adjourned that miraculous Friday, I got in my rice-grinder car and took off for the promised land: home.
It was a perfect Spring day. The temp: 70ish. The wind 5 mp’s. The mood: pure bliss.
I knew I had found absolute rapture.
As I left the city for the reliable relaxation of the countryside, the song “Bittersweet Symphony” came on the radio. Time to soak up the sun.
As the violins kicked up, the windows rolled down. I threw on my geekiest 90s sunglasses, kicked off my shoes and plopped my left foot on the seat underneath me.
Cruising down the road, I let my arms hit the open air as the wind blew through one ear and out the other.
Spring has sprung, my friends, and it’s a beautiful symphony.