Sugar down  the syrup in the Queen Anne’s lace 
Shining in the light of nightshade 
Cultivating unsophistication in my face 
Trying to think of nothing to say
Grapes gone sour  and the spinach went to seed 
(it was spindly and sick from the outset)
Waiting for the hour with a wherewithal to leave
Patient as a dog for its master
The Labrador  was locked to the promontory rock
She called down, said “time is an illusion” 
An inconsequential shift as the continents drift 
But my confidence was crushed and I miss you regardless
“You can be your body but please don’t mind
if I don’t fancy myself mine  - you at 32 still tied to your poor mother’s apron strings !”
Sorrel in the gravel  and the saffron robe 
Sleeping like a shark in the cord grass 
until I saw how far I traveled down the solipsistic  road
I climbed out to ask for directions
There was not a pond in sight and here I’m gasping like a fish 
In the desert with a basket full of eggplants 
who asked about the passage of the Bible on my wrists 
But I couldn’t catch my breath enough to answer.
[note: despite widespread debate as to the nature of this song, Aaron Weiss confirms that it is a one-off song, something of an intermission from the circus narrative, and deals with a fish falling in love with an eggplant growing near the water’s edge.]
 “Sugaring down” is a term used by the colonial America Pilgrims for the process of making maple syrup.
 “Queen Anne’s Lace” is a wild variant of a common carrot, and it has many medicinal uses, even as a contraceptive. It bares a close resemblance to Poison Hemlock, which is deadly. This aspect possibly bears some meaning for the relationship in this song, but it is unclear. These opening lines are perhaps just poetic terms denoting a sort of love poem from Fish to Aubergine, albeit one fraught with vegetable terms.
 The “nightshade” vegetables are a plant family that includes eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. The term “nightshade” may have been coined because some of these plants prefer to grow in shady areas, and some flower at night. Once again we have a plant that could either be edible or poisonous, depending on how careful one is.
 “Cultivating unsophistication” and “trying to think of nothing to say” seem to indicate that Fish is putting on a false air of humility. This theme is common to mewithoutYou lyrics.
 When somebody expresses “sour grapes”, it means that they put down something simply because they can’t have it. The term finds its origins in the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop:
ONE hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the things to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”
“IT IS EASY TO DESPISE WHAT YOU CANNOT GET.”
(Aesop’s fables. (1981). New York: Viking Press.)
 When spinach starts to “go to seed” it’s best to pick anything that’s salvageable right away and pull the plant, because what’s edible parts that are on the spinach will deteriorate rapidly. Placed side by side, these two phrases (“sours grapes” and “spinach going to seed”) seem to have great bearing on the relationship in question. Thus, Fish can’t have Aubergine, and is bitter about it; he should get out while there is something still left to salvage in the relationship.
 “Aubergine” is another name for an eggplant. In this case it seems to be the proper name of the eggplant for whom Fish is lamenting.
 In this context “Labrador” probably refers to a large peninsula of northeast Canada, on the Atlantic, the Gulf of St Lawrence, Hudson Strait, and Hudson Bay. Being “locked to the promontory rock” probably refers to the act of “locking” a ship; moving it by means of a lock or locks, as in a canal. In this case, up to the highest point of land. As with the song’s opening lines, the exact purpose is unclear. It could once again be poetic place setting for the romance going on, or it could have a deeper meaning.
 The notion of “time as an illusion” is marked in many sciences and philosophies, and by the likes of Albert Einstein. The most popular philosophical work on the subject (and considering the weight of philosophical ideas in Ten Stories, likely the most relevant) is John Mactaggart’s 1908 book The Unreality of Time. In the work for which he is best known today, McTaggart argued that our perception of time is an illusion, and that time itself is merely ideal. He introduced the notions of the “A series” and “B series” interpretations of time, representing two different ways that events in time can be arranged. The A series corresponds to our everyday notions of past, present, and future. The A series is “the series of positions running from the far past through the near past to the present, and then from the present to the near future and the far future”. This is contrasted with the B series, in which positions are ordered from earlier-than to later-than relations. Thus the A series represent the events in time in a moving relation (from future to present to past) to the temporally moving observer, whereas the B series orders the time events as in firm and fixed relations to other time events. McTaggart argued that the A series was a necessary component of any full theory of time since change only occurs in the A series, but that it was also self-contradictory and that our perception of time was, therefore, ultimately an incoherent illusion.
As it applies to the narrative of Fish and Aubergine, it seems that this notion is Aubergine’s response to Fish’s lament to their past relationship. Fish longs for how things were, and he wants what he can’t have.
This concept also brings to mind a quote from C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet, in which earth-man Ransom is confronted by an alien philosopher over his skewed perception of the importance of time:
“And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back–if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that these are that day?” - C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet
(Lewis, C. (1996). Out of the Silent Planet. New York: Scribner Classics.)
 The reference to the drifting of continents seems to be another way of illustrating the meaninglessness of the passage of time.
 Aubergine’s rebuttal to Fish here suggests that he is still more concerned for fleeting earthly pleasures than of any spiritual growth. This is, in a sense, another image of ego death, in that Aubergine smothers her own body’s desires.
 Being “tied to her apron strings” is a phrase that means to be wholly dependent on or controlled by a woman, especially one’s mother or wife. For example, “At 25, he was still too tied to her apron strings to get an apartment of his own.” This expression, dating from the early 1800s, probably alluded to apron-string tenure, a 17th-century law that allowed a husband to control his wife’s and her family’s property during her lifetime.
As it applies to this song: at the time of its writing, Aaron Weiss indeed was still living with his mother. It seems that much of this relationship, and the criticisms of Fish’s behavior and mindset, come from a deeply personal place, the same personal place regarding a singular past relationship that runs through much of mewithoutYou’s catalogue. Even the album artwork for this track contains a a fish that bears a remarkable resemblance to Weiss in its anthropomorphous face. There will be another direct indication that Fish is, in some ways, a cypher for Weiss (note: this can probably be said of many of the characters in Ten Stories, but in Aubergine we see at least two direct references to Aaron Weiss that causes this to stand out enough to be mentioned; here the age of “32” is a perfect example - his age at the time of the recording of the album).
 The sorrel here is possibly referring to the hibiscus plant. Hibiscus has always been considered a medicinal and symbolic plant and spiritual plant. The Sanskrit name for hibiscus, japa, literally means “mantra repetition” and it is said to strengthen the effects of prayers, devotions and the repetition of mantras. It is said to “strengthen devotion in Japa, help make mantras fruitful, and enhance attention in meditation.” It is also used by Sufi Muslims during the fast of Ramadan. To quote an article on herbs in Ramadan, “In the Middle East and Africa, hibiscus is readily served to guests, especially during Ramadan. However, for so many Ramadan traditions like the kunafa (a Ramadan sweet) and the musaharati (the man who wakes people for suhur), few look beyond the tradition for its benefit.
 The “saffron robe” most likely refers to the robes worn by Buddhist monks upon ordination, although there is also a specific reference to a saffron colored robe in Homer’s Iliad, concerning the goddess Eros.
Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hastening from the streams of Oceanus, to bring light to mortals and immortals, Thetis reached the ships with the armor that the god had given her.
(Bloom, H. (1996). Homer’s Iliad. New York: Chelsea House.)
 Spartina, commonly known as “cordgrass”, is grass frequently found in coastal salt marches.
 Solipsism, (from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self") is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. Note that solipsism, at least on the surface, flies in the face of much of the “positive” philosophy found throughout the album so far, and even extending to other mewithoutYou album. Thus “Only I exist” is the antithesis of “I do not exist, only You exist.”
 The imagery of a Fish emerging from water only to find himself gasping for air bears a strong resemblance to a story by M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, though possibly in imagery alone. The fish foolishly searches for water (explained as symbolic for God), and through ignorance will not believe that land and air will harm him, nor that he is already in what humans call “water”.
“Is it not a great wonder that a fish would go around searching for water, even though it is living in that very water? If one who has pure wisdom should try to tell a fish who has such a strange kind of wisdom, “Look! This is water!” will it listen? Will such a fish accept the truth if you speak the truth? It will never accept it, for its wisdom is incapable of analyzing itself and judging it’s own state. It is not even aware that, being a fish, water is the only place it can survive, and that it would die on land, where there is no water. If you tell the truth to a fish in the state, it will not understand. Worse than this are those in this world who speak such wisdom and do not realize they are in danger. You must analyze this thoroughly and reflect on it with your wisdom.
Even if you brought the fish to the shore to show it the difference, it still would not except what you say. However if you picked it up and actually threw it on the sand - once it was struggling there gasping for breath - maybe at that stage, if you said to the fish, “Do you see now? This is land. The place you have been living in all this time was water. You could never have survived out of the water, and if you stay in this place where there is no water, you will die”, then, maybe at that stage the fish might say, “Oho! Is that so? Is this land?” and try hard to agree with what you say. But, in fact, it will not accept even what it has seen with its own eyes. Only because it feared losing its life did it pretend to agree, saying, “Oho! Is that so? Is this the truth?” However, the minute you return that fish to the water, it will go right back to wandering around in search of water, saying, “What he told me was not true, it was a bunch of lies. He was trying to kill me.” Accusing you and reproaching you in this way, it will probably go round and round again, searching for water, and keep doing that for the rest of its life. You must understand this well and explain it to those of wisdom.”
(Muhaiyaddeen, M. (2001). The Resonance of Allah: Resplendent Explanations Arising from the Nūr, Allāh’s Wisdom of Grace. Philadelphia, PA: Fellowship Press.)
 Note that Fish’s almost mystical view of his love, Aubergine, is now a rote image of a basket of eggplants. Perhaps this denotes a shift in perspective on his relationship, much like his emergence from the ocean.
 Aaron Weiss reportedly has a verse from Matthew tattooed on his wrists.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” - Matthew 5:3
To be “poor in spirit” is to recognize your utter spiritual bankruptcy before God. It is understanding that you have absolutely nothing of worth to offer God. Being poor in spirit is admitting that, because of your sin, you are completely destitute spiritually and can do nothing to deliver yourself from your dire situation. Jesus is saying that, no matter your status in life, you must recognize your spiritual poverty before you can come to God in faith to receive the salvation He offers.