Budgie’s Journal #178 – Lana Del Rey in Retrograde

I drive north on a New Haven highway, looking at the license plates of the cars passing me. I make notes of who’s from out of state. I see one from Georgia. Now who the hell would be in Connecticut from Georgia?

Are they visiting family? Are they here for pleasure, in the state where there’s so little to do it’s been dubbed “where fun comes to die”?

I start to tell their story in my mind while I drive to my field meeting. They’re here to meet their online lover, coming to a warm, occupied bed. They have a short yet meaningful tryst and then go back to their separate lives and long-distance sexting. Neither one of them really wants to commit to the other.

Lana Del Rey belts out a tune on my truck’s radio, giving the perfect soundtrack to period of the August retrograde. She’s feeling the summertime sadness, rocking out at Coachella, and she’s pretty when she cries. Her voice pierces me, sending feeling and something unknown right into my center.

New Haven heats up as the temperature rises to triple digits. The heat turns last night’s rain into a haze, making the air into a soupy mess. There’s no magic in the air today, but there usually isn’t much in the heart of the city anyway.

The building on Day Street is vacant. Nobody has moved back in since the fire. Vandals broke in and stole the copper wire from the walls, leaving nothing but cut conduits and holes in the walls. The police aren’t even called. There’s no point in bothering them with something so common and trivial.

In a vain attempt to get my cell number, he asks for me to text him the info he needs. But he asks twice, shifting his eyes away from mine on the second attempt. I tell him I’ll send the information, but I won’t. He shakes my hand softly when I leave with his sweat-covered palm. He’s going to have a tough day in the house with boarded up windows and no air conditioning. This is not the weather for desperation and obesity.

Then I’m off in my flying saucer. I’m asked to come back down to earth, to her, but here I soar, leaving my heart behind to be studied and analyzed in the vague energies within the planet’s atmosphere.

It’s cooler in space, in the shadows of the heavenly bodies of the Milky Way. I didn’t bring a map, but I don’t need one. Let’s just see where the interstellar highway takes us. One thing’s certain: It’s a long way from New Haven.

Maybe I’ll pass Mercury and ask her to turn back.

-Budgie Bigelow

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