I’ve been staring at the screen for hours; fondling pomegranate peels in a Tupperware as if there were pieces of a shuttered stress ball, when the doorbell rang. July in Athens is sick and the city becomes carnivorous; people just disappear. To make it to the party fairly on time I wore yesterday’s clothes; a stained sleeveless shirt and my striped pants. We drove to that rich kid’s mansion in what seemed the northest suburb of Athens; a totally VIP situation. My friends mingled while I got my drinks and headed to the veranda at the back of the house. “What the fuck am I doing here?” I wondered, over that magnificent view of the city. I didn’t move once and people joked on my strange attachment to the railing. Strangely, for a summer party, nobody would come out. Everyone would prefer the artificial arctic climate inside. I was staring at them; the veranda door would frame all the party activity I could handle. I remember craving badly for a cigarette when suddenly the motion of the party slowed down and I heard what it sounded like the most ethereal musical entrance ever accompanied with a human-sized cartoon-like whirlwind. “Blue hydrangea..,” would sing the voice though separate from her body; Lana Del Rey appeared and stardust and shimmer would sprinkle all around her. I stood still in shock. I didn’t have time to process what the fuck was happening as she was approaching me right away, handing me a cigarette that she would later light. She lighted one for herself too.
“Oh hi, I’m Georges,” I uttered.
“I know who you are Georges Jacotey,” she replied with her actual real voice “You do these pictures of me with your face.”
Hearing her calling my full name gave me multiple brain explosions.
“I wouldn’t think you’ll ever notice Lana Del Rey.”
I pronounced her full name too.
“How could I not! These are like the most gorgeous pics online”
“I spend a lot of my time online Lana.”
“Yes, I have noticed,” she said in a soothing tone. “What is troubling you? You sit here outside all alone.”
I couldn’t believe Lana Del Rey would actually care about my feelings so I replied something in the fashion of “Wouldn’t you do the same?”
But Lana insisted with questions. She kept acting like a caring mother. O, mother Lana, I pinched myself belatedly.
“Is it about your new boyfriend?” she asked.
“It’s about everything really; the new boyfriend just makes every dilemma more intense.”
We silently gazed at the view.
“What’s that thing… love?” I said in a rhetoric manner.
I couldn’t believe these words came out of my mouth. She gave me that sweet trademarked smile and looked at me as if my silly question justified her choice in me.
“Georges, as a teenage girl I used to believe that love doesn’t exist. I thought it’s an invention so we could rationalize our selfish heartbreaks. But I realized as I grow up heartbreaks shape me and they stay with me. Love is a personal construction. It’s only yours. It keeps things together. It’s far from perfect but you known already nothing is perfect.”
Wow! I couldn’t find any words to reply to that. We smoked another one. She took my hand and held it. Hers was warm and sweaty like the weather.
“So, what is it?” she asked again.
“He’s a force,” I replied. “He’s the one but he’s a force that sweeps everything away. He’s strong; the strongest, and when he grabs me I can’t escape.”
I paused but Lana had nothing to add.
“How can I let myself to be taken away? I was supposed to retreat. Fall back in my safety net, again. I can’t afford a place to live.”
This might have sounded drama-queeny but this is the way I think of things. And the summer heat charges every little thought.
“Greek summers are troubling,” I told her. “Your sanity is at stake.”
Then, in a minute, as if she performed some sort of magic, the view from the veranda changed. It was still as hot and humid as Athens, and the sky retained the same pale post-apocalyptic shade of pink, but that was L.A. Exactly as I’ve seen it in films. I burst into tears.
“How did you do that?” I cried.
“I can do that. It doesn’t matter how. Why are you crying?”
“Moving physically is such a luxury to me.”
“Is there somewhere you wish to move?”
“I don’t know.”
I kept crying. Being somewhere else was the best present anyone could give me. I always wanted to live in places but now the hardships keep me away.
“You’d fit right in L.A. I guess. But Georges, every place becomes a disappointment in the end. We have such unrealistic expectations from cities.”
“Yeah, true. Cities were marketed really well.” I added. “Like they could fulfill all of your dreams.”
The night was falling in L.A. The view swept us in. The blurry lights in the horizon smoothened the sense of space. I’m holding hands and smoking cigarettes with Lana Del Rey. I don’t want this to end. I wanted to ask her to keep in contact but she was already on it. She started following me in instagram, facebook, twitter and tumblr through her smart phone. She was going to go but I had to ask her one last thing.
“Lana, why did you say that thing in Fader about feminism? Why did you have to denounce it?”
“O gosh! I was hoping you wouldn’t ask that.”
“But I have to. You understand.”
“I do.” she said and paused. “Listen, I’m sorry. That was stupid of me. It’s just that I was ignorant at the moment. I like to react in people’s expectations of me.”
“I’m so happy you said that Lana. You know, feminism could be a concept like love too; a personal creation just for yourself. It’ll keep you sane. It’s far from perfect but nothing really is.”
Lana smiled at me. Lana confirms. There was nothing more to say honestly. She started floating. She left my hand while I was weeping. She was going higher and higher, glowing in the dark of the night, like a mother, a deity. Lana de Grèce I’m calling her. I’ll cherish her image for ever.