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Lana, Tears of Emotion

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There’s no “I”, I resolved to, trying to tackle inner issues regarding talent and depth of emotion. The freedom of expressing myself, without arrogance, and all of its dangers… There’s no “I” and yet, I had to remind myself to make no effort to impress you. There’s no “I”, there’s no “I”, obviously… but not as there’s no “me”. More like there’s not a singular “me”, though some times, not even enough of “me”. Anyways, what does it matter; the conventions won’t melt any time soon.

Perhaps, if I tell you about this recurrent nightmare of mine, or better yet if I include you in it, you’ll get a sense of how I was led here. Try to imagine you are in the middle of a vast open field, a Nevada that extends to as far as your eyes can see. Imagine that by some sort of mirage, everything, the earth, the sky, turns into a mirror and then fades. And all that is continuous and it feels like you’re in one of those never ending fairytales, being told over and over again. Your features look distorted, and there are endless reflections of colorful, mutilated bodies that seem like they’re floating around. You can’t make them stop; they just mold into something else. That is you, but it’s also alien. Now, I’m there too and I’m your queen. I sort of know how to navigate through this hall of mirrors but it pains me. I’m a queen but you resent me and I resent you. Now, that’s a state of mind; my mind.

It’s cold out there, it’s dark in here. Silly but frank talk, as if you’re not listening, but you are. That’s my mind now but if I manage to sleep early, and wake up early, and the sun is bright, and it can travel through walls and floors, I might finally be able to do something about it… About that thing I keep forgetting, what is it about? No, what happens is that most of the times, I just want to go out with my slippers, go down by the beach and get high.

The sun sets quickly…

Now, I’m in a very safe place, figuratively and literally, as I lay comfortably on my armchair, gazing at the night sea, on the terrace of my Malibu beach house. In fact, I feel safe enough to allow myself to hop on that train of thought that brought me to tears and almost down on my knees, while performing in Dublin, back in ‘13. Everybody has seen that video of me turning my back to the audience crying, I mean it’s on YouTube, and everybody has asked me about it. Believe it or not, those were real tears of emotion.

Back then, the press believed and used to say I’m just “another” lousy fake. A highly untalented and a dull puppet of a girl that somehow managed to fuck her way up to the top. Being called “another”, feeling “another”… I remember being in a constant state of panic, the burden of proving yourself… and the limited time… and the unreasonable pressure, the desperate need to shake off that cloak of “anotherness”. First, you are the “other”, and then you are “another”. As if your “otherness” doesn’t kill you, your “anotherness” will. But I got lucky, I got through.

I got through the meanness and kept being a pop star despite feeling parasitic to the system. Despite all the hate and disapproval, I was miraculously ascending. I had a huge and warm crowd at Vicar Street, singing along with me, filming me with their smart-phones. It looked almost like the sparkly sea I’m gazing at now. An infinite sea of flash-lights… which made me feel important and not parasitic, and loved.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m not afraid to admit, having my picture taken, by many, as many times as possible, makes me feel loved. “I even think I found God in the flash bulbs of the pretty cameras” I wrote once, revealing my love for being the centre of attention. It gives me a sense of tranquility and peacefulness, almost as if I’m speaking to god.

(What’s that desire in me, the desire to be desired and exhibited? To be caged, to be animal)

I guess my misfortune and the reason for being taunted that much had to do with the fact that my whole gig was kind of disruptive at that time. I did not try to perform the effortless beauty queen or the empowered whore. What I was best at was being a loser and a rather messy one. I was not confident, my references were passé, and I didn’t rip-off any sub-culture... I messed up any chance I got… In all my glamorous weaves and make-up I kind of looked miserable. That must have been the wrong way. And then, doing things wrong became my brand. It suddenly made sense, I was offensively queer to the establishment, and since I exposed the conventions of my narrative the establishment could not support me. But, I wasn’t a parasite. I was doing something important, at least to me and my fans. And, just like that, with the internet backing me, like a glitch in the system, I got through.

Meeting Ryon before the show had definitely something to do with my candid hurricane of emotions. It must have been a déjà-vu because I had only met Ryon a year after, in LA and to this day I have no idea how our brief meeting and conversation slipped into my mind that exact moment. The strings were preparing for Video Games, which for obvious reasons, is always the sentimental part of the show but “I”, instead of announcing the end of our performance, was struggling to catch my breath and hold back my tears. It was Ryon’s monologue about insanity and marginal characters that kept storming my head with ideas.

It was at a meet and greet that I met the sweet but troubled Ryon, who instead of an autograph wanted to interview me for his online talk show. He opened up to me about the dark times he’s been through, his battles with mental disorders and how my music helped him overcome sorrows and frustrations. For a girl that identifies with insanity that hit home. We were no different, I told him, at a time that everyone seemed to have a definite opinion about what’s wrong with me, except for me, I had to look to my icons for inspiration to help me overcome my own anxieties. I had to work my insanity, question my rage, and just find a way to deal with it. Before I left to go prepare for stage, we agreed that people like us should be worshiped.

Fans like Ryon always remind me how complicated of an issue is just to survive. I mean, I have everything I need now but it wasn’t always like that. I know of injustice and the world is terribly unjust. I know how it is to sleep and wake up with the same clothes on, waiting for something that will change the game. Eating toast bread with mayo for days… Gradually you lose hope. There’s not much you can do. The structure of everything is so rigid to brake just by your beliefs and ideals. Ideals… ha! You’re bound to betray yourself unless you wish to remain marginal. It’s such a privilege to live by your ideals. Which I guess I have now but most probably you don’t.

I turned my back to the audience to wipe away my tears. I needed a moment to myself. A moment to myself on stage; what an irony! My fans were trying to cheer me up, proclaiming their love with shouts and whistles. And there it was an instant of realization and purpose… with, of course, a tiny bit of Jesus syndrome. I could be a real queen to them just by sharing my privilege every chance I got. Just by seeking justice for those of them that are unable to do so for themselves. Or, if that’s too much, I could just do anything possible to heal their wounds. The wounds of my loved ones... If I really want to get to call myself disruptive, what I should do it to provoke the system and make space for more glitches to shine… Bring everyone over to the good side and change my queen title to “mother”.

We sure do live in pitiless times.
We sure do live in pitiless times.
We sure do live in pitiless times.
We sure do live in pitiless times.

I did wish to die; simply because I couldn’t imagine myself being able to grow old gracefully. And of course, because I felt accomplished already. I did what I wanted to do in life and it’s great and that’s all. Or that’s what I thought. But at that moment, with all these thoughts racing so fast in my mind, looking at my fans lighting me up with their devices, seeing my image in them and seeing their image in me, I got to feel a sense of completeness. Yes, for a moment there, I felt complete. But the feeling started fading so fast that got me mad trying to fully grasp it so I can keep it. It was the exact moment after I craved it the most and now I’m afraid that that craving has gone away too. It was such a high. It was at first empowering and then overpowering.

Upon reflection, I guess I resort a lot on channeling all that to whoever is seeing and listening. Having such a platform like I do is almost like you have telepathic capabilities. You infiltrate people’s minds. Hmm… yeah, I like thinking that. That’s my kind of fantasy.

Lana Del Rey ♡ 2015