Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The way that Mark Rose sees life is as one long road that, before you know it, has curved itself into a horseshoe, or if you're luckier, one long oval. You follow the ruts in that road and then you get old enough to know that there's no one telling you that you must stay in the lines any longer, that it's okay to veer instead of converging on those well-worn tracks. You start to listen to the voices in your head and you start to do what's felt in the guts and in the heart. You're not willing to put much stock in their expertise, but you're going to see where they take you for a while and maybe it will all work out. It's not easy, but it feels it's all you can do to become yourself - to feel like you're living your life the right way. There's no strategy, just trying - just failing and discovering.
The people that Rose sings about never encounter the extraordinary. They stumble themselves right on into the mundane and there's nothing that they find wrong with that. They're the kind of people who - with a good, loving person by their side, a roof over top of their heads and a fair bill of health - would be fine with anything else that's thrown their way. They deal with the loneliness by staring at it. They deal with the presence of imperfect love, with their dreams of something different. They are cautiously optimistic. They are certainly dreamers - gentle, gentle dreamers. They have soft underbellies and they are wounded easily, but they regain full strength and confidence quickly as well, even if they seem to be walking more gingerly than before.
Rose sings here, "If this is how it feels to love, I don't wanna love no more/If this is love to you," and it's a valid concern, this unfamiliarity with the ways of these emotions, just how they're supposed to be applied, how they're supposed to go. There are no cue cards. It's not a problem. It just makes everything trickier. There are here for the long haul though, slugging it out. It's a situation that Rose appreciates.