Over the years I have heard much confusion about the lyrics and people seem to want to take the words literally. I have always understood the words as a man who on the brink of marriage has for whatever reason split up with his partner. The heartache that follows is the fuel for the song. I see him sitting staring into a coffee thinking things through and pictures are flashing in and out of his minds eye and he is doing his best to explain them to himself. His memories of days or moments spent with her in the park are fading. The cake that someone has left on another table becomes a focus for his stare and that conjures up an analogy in that it takes longer to make than eat and he translates that into his relationship. These swirling pictures are the bulk of the song and like any dream they appear nonsensical. Then in a clear moment he begins to reflect on what lies ahead and common sense takes over. he sees a future without her but also knows he will never forget her. He knows in time he will find a new road to travel but he also can't understand why he needs to. Was her explanation truthful?
I think anyone that has been deeply in love will understand this song. It is profound and has always been beautifully produced. Some say it was over the top but isn't that how you feel when your heart is in pieces?