It was an evening flight out of Boston. The fasten seatbelt sign was switched off as the plane rose above the clouds and I was greeted with the sight of a gorgeous sunset to the west as I reached for my noise-cancelling headphones.
Normally I’d spend the time catching up on my podcasts but I felt like hearing some music. Specifically, I wanted to hear The Go-Betweens, having spent the day hanging out Chloe, fellow web developer and Go-Betweens fan. I listened to Bachelor Kisses as the last rays of sun streamed across the clouds and into the cabin.
Don’t believe what you’ve heard,
Faithful’s not a bad word.
Have you ever noticed the way that your emotional reactions can be heightened when you’re on an airplane? Like when you watch a sappy movie that would normally evoke a cynical sneer but you find yourself blinking away tears instead. Maybe it’s something to do with the amount of oxygen, or maybe it’s something to do with the cabin pressure. Or maybe it’s the feeling that your soul is trailing behind you, as William Gibson described in Pattern Recognition:
She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien’s theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can’t move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.
Admittedly, Bachelor Kisses is such a beautiful song that it could make me tear up at the best of times.
Exactly five years ago to the day I found out via text message that Grant McLellan had died. He will never write any more songs.
Maybe it was that thought that was bringing tears to my eyes. Maybe.