Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The morning is cold. All of the snow on the ground is now unwanted. It's piled and stared at. It's too hard to do anything with it, but it's going nowhere quickly. It will just get harder and harder with the passage of days. This is a morning that's offer little other than a crunchy, red-skinned walk.It seems that this is the sort of morning that Bathgate would rise to, or choose to if there was any choice to the matter. He doesn't need it to be warm outside. He doesn't need for there to be anything at all inviting on the other side of the window, for that chalky, brittle surface out there right now would be enough to think about for a while. He would stretch and itch the places that needed to scratched, or vice versa, as he gingerly grabbed one of those cups of coffee, cupping it with both hands, and then standing by those windows in the back of the house that faced the lake, for hours maybe, just looking.
He'd curiously wonder what was going to be made of today, what kinds of things he was going to have to deal with that he wouldn't want to have to deal with. Within those thoughts would come the needling fears of inadequacy and not being able to handle whatever the next 16-20 hours might have in-store. It all might be too much to bear.
Bathgate reasons within himself, with a melancholy that burns of the pain that comes with skinned knees, but which lasts for decades, like last kisses and the smell of her hair, the scent of her walking by. The characters in Bathgate songs are wounded and they've swelled with moonlight and cheap wine. They've been questioning themselves and where they fit into the whole scheme. It's contemplative and arduous. It's necessary and it comes and it goes in regards to severity.
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