Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It's rather hard to do anything in this life that, when boiled down, couldn't be described as blood-on-blood, skin-to-skin. We are dealing with soul-to-soul combat every day that we breathe and it might or it might not have anything to do with violence, though there's some element of that red-stained violence in just about anything that happens. You can go ahead and look that up. It's close. We are all streaked with the same amounts of courage and fear that nearly everyone is and how we respond to situations is some play on both of those. Most men and women have more fear, by percentage, and it makes them less violent, willing to sit by, to sit things out and watch the scenery. London's Bobby Long, a young man who came to us this day a few months ago very much rattled by his American travels and sleep deprivation, throws himself knee-deep into the parts of life where weary men sit in their rocking chairs or on a porch at the closing of a day (usually as much older men than this 20-something fellow) and they examine the twists and turns that they've navigated. They sit there and think predominantly upon their regrets and less on their blessings. They run a finger over all of their scars or the remains of those scars and they fling themselves back to that day when their skin took on its new accent - an altered state that would never be altered. These men recognize the physicality of what life represents. They feel the depth of even the smallest of decisions, as just another domino that sits, ready to teeter and fall, altering some other aspect that had thus far been unseen or motionless. These are men who don't usually have any lucky stars to count so they just look out into the abyss tiredly. They are bound to their old kisses and their former smiles, thinking about the sadness that they might have brought to some of the women they've been with - women whom they formerly had made happy, but knew that it couldn't or wouldn't last like that for too long. They know all about the recalibration of the field - of men and women. Long is a master of getting to the heart of these sad stories of the flesh, of these souls just battling it out with one another, reaching to be touched or touched back. He sings, "And the troubles on your mind get built on every day," and it seems to be a motto not just for himself, but for all of the characters that he writes. In these songs, the devil seems to have tired eyes and so do these mortal men concerned about their standing in those bloodshot eyes. They might go years or decades without ever getting any semblance of an answer and so it all goes.