1. Fortress 2. Pull Me Up 3. Old Canada 4. Moving In a Vehicle 5. Tropical Storm 6. Greek Vacation 7. Spirit 8. Hues 9. Hues pt.2 10. Weird Fondness 11. Going Up 12. A Ghost Hanging Around In My House 13. Diesel 14. Authority 15. Old Lord 16. I Walk In a Zig Zag Motion
She was born in the heart of the Badlands, she grew up between skyscrapers and darkness, and corrupted minds that followed the rules of the streets. From afar, it all just looks like a rotting island, an abandoned metropolis left to its own luck, knowing it doesn’t have a chance. And as you get closer, you can see that you aren’t that wrong. In time, every single one of her acquaintances changed, and maybe she did too – she just didn’t realize. They grow up oblivious and sheltered and one day the evil realities of that place hit them square between the eyes like a perfectly aimed bullet. And when that day comes, they just accept their destiny and move on with it. But she wasn’t like everyone else. True, maybe she was part of a generation who was more aware of everything surrounding them, but no one had the guts to fight.
She escaped, she just couldn’t spend one more minute there, feeling like her life was being wasted. But after a few years being on the run, something changed: she had to go back. She didn’t know why, she couldn’t remember the moment she felt like it was a demand she had to fulfill, but there was something in her chest telling her she needed to return and make things different. She was going to stand against the ruler there and yes, that meant some sacrifices had to be made, but she just didn’t care, she was sure she was going to win. She is going straight for the Castle now, walking directly into the biggest skyscraper in the city, but once she gets there all she sees is darkness and shadows, and pretty soon she can tell that the king is no fool, and it is not going to be that easy.
The voices inside her are trying to make her speak up, say why she’s there and what she wants, but she feels weak and the bravery that had lived deep within her is easily gone now she knows what she’s rebelling against. When she was younger and without her realizing, she sold her soul to the city just like everyone else, and now that power is Holding Her Down, so she becomes smaller by seconds, unable to fight the rottenness at the top. She wants mightiness; she’s out of bounds preventing her of danger anyway. She’s going for it all. But her momentary return of boldness leaves as fast as it came because the forces inside the palace are way stronger than she is. They beat her up in no time, and she gets sent back to the city she once escaped.
The familiar smell of fuel and desperation hits her once more. She remembers it quite well, but she didn’t think it was that strong: it practically mists the rest of her senses. The city looks like it hasn’t changed a bit, but when a few people walk by her side, she notices something different. Their faces, their eyes. They are not as swollen, it looks like they even have drops of hope and ambition inside of them. They walk proud and stand tall, with their minds somewhere else, somewhere better. But despite of that, they’re still too tangled up on their own issues to fight their oppressors. If the New Americana stood together, they could easily tear the system down.
She suddenly snaps out of herself, something calling her attention. A Cadillac, a car she hadn’t seen in years. Inside, a face blurred out is inviting her in and a strange connection’s telling her she knows that person, a bolt of fear raging her body. Once she gets in they leave as fast as they can, entering some kind of desert road, forgetting where they are supposed to be until the city limit pops up and they have to stop the engine and turn around. They can’t stay, they can’t runway, but at the moment, all they do is Drive which is somewhat relaxing, a vacation of the cold and sharp reality, which is shutting them down and keeping their emotions in for a while.
After returning to the city and getting her mind into the real matter, she walks down a long street emerging from inside the dark alleys of the Badlands. A place where a strange boy lives, a boy who calls her attention and who sees her as the young and innocent, willing-to-experiment girl she is. But he’s just lost in his own damaged and sick mind, he takes her for what he wants, nothing else. She’s destructive to herself and to others as well, so they fit like puzzle pieces. At some point everything becomes too toxic and dangerous and she understands that she doesn’t belong to anywhere, to anybody, she’s a Hurricane. So she leaves, because if there’s someone on Earth who’s going to destroy her, that’s going to be herself.
She gets away from the mud that could’ve been her death, and she’s back to the streets that saw her become a woman when she notices a certain light. The same kind of glow, reminiscing of fear and lust for what’s prohibited that she sees in her own eyes. Someone who gets the clouds of her breath stuck in her throat, making it painful to inhale and exhale, but certainly worth it. So they escape the city as much as they can while still being trapped inside of it and somehow, everything that’s wrong from the buildings that work as prison bars disappears, just like if they were on a Roman Holiday. But sooner or later everything crumbles, especially in the Badlands.
One night, insomnia creeps into her body when an idea is rambling her mind: the person laying next to her is slowly drifting away, she doesn’t know where, but she just doesn’t feel the same weight beside her in bed. And even though it’s a loss, it is also a lesson. She doesn’t like anything unless it has an expiring date. She doesn’t want romance and happiness, she wants lies and poison and she enjoys getting away from painful situations just as much as she enjoys being trapped inside of them. She’s self-destructive and somehow, her demolitions always end up tearing someone else apart. Those that love her are the ones that hurt her the most and those whom she loves are the ones she hurts the most. Even if it’s making her fall to pieces, she likes it when something that could’ve been beautiful is just a fading memory, a Ghost that sometimes chases her just to remind her of what could have been.
When she’s about to tell him that she’s leaving for good, something hits her: these boys she had been condemning for so long are not any less victims than she is, and all they deserve is her mercy and her understanding, because in the end, it’s their sad eyes that she craves. And when she looks around in a different way, she sees the Colors perfectly: the way they are vibing out of their bodies and roaming through the room. And she feels compassion and love, but also the need to go away, for herself. Because even though he changed her, maybe it wasn’t that bad after all. We are all like paintings, true masterpieces, and we grow and become more beautiful with every tonality that’s added to our canvas.
But once she leaves that cold and not-so-empty bed, the Colors she thought were gone start shining even brighter, and the thought that maybe she shouldn’t have left is stuck in her head.
That feeling is soon gone when the lights that blind her are no longer dripping colors of her past but flashes of those who want to know her story. Well, not hers, but the story of her Strange Love, the one that consumed her. But even if she has to deal with the pain telling only half of it to the world, she’s screaming at emptiness, so it is no one’s business who her heart belongs or belonged to.
Rain is pouring in the city when she gets in a car that seems familiar, the only shelter she could find from the gossip-seeker zombies chasing her. But this time, when she turns on the radio to evade herself, the face of the person sitting on the driver’s seat is clear as river water and beautiful like soft needles brushing her skin. Something inside her dies and comes alive just by looking at him: a god, the devil, a martyr and a savior that takes her to outer space while rolling beneath the sheets of a hotel room. What she once saw as heavenly is now Coming Down to lay beside her, and she feels everything as human and raw and sinful as her beating heart could get. She finds it very hard to leave this time, but at least and by now, she doesn’t have to.
She takes the boy out to the streets on a route she knows very well. She wants to remember because although she feels safe and warm with him, she doesn’t quite feel understood and there’s a voice that never stopped echoing, a beam of someone else that’s still Haunting her, and she wants it there, near, where she can feel it, that being the only way she can have a piece of what she tried to leave behind.
Wanting to get rid of that shadow, she seeks comprehension in the boy with inhuman eyes, just because perhaps he runs on Gasoline too and she’s not so alone, so she can forget finally. She needs someone who devastates his mind also, whose hands get cold even if it feels like they shouldn’t, someone who looks around and only sees faces of bewilderment and concern, and can only hear whispers when he gets on a train. Someone who understands her pain and her madness. But an emotion she can’t decode takes over him and he leaves her alone in the middle of nowhere, dawn breaking through the skyline at the end of the city.
Finding herself hopeless and heartbroken again, something clicks in her mind and she remembers: a transition, craziness, the reason she needed to go back to the Badlands and why she was so sure she could beat the neglected power taking up the only safe places there. She remembers crying in despair, knowing she couldn’t back off; it was her duty because there was a heat growing inside her, a deadly fire that could destroy everything she wanted. She wasn’t to be messed with. She was one in her generation, the one who had the power to overtake the throne. The energy that sprouts out of her may scare those watching, but now she is in Control. She can be bigger, colder, meaner than the demons she had grown familiar with, thanks to the villains she got to know in her bed. She is unstoppable and she is going to take everything she can.
It almost looks like she’s flying through the insane metropolis to get to the castle again, knowing that this time she will win. But the moment she walks through the doors, she sees something she wasn’t expecting: the boy who left her in the middle of the city is the one sitting on the throne, and he’s speaking with a voice she remembers from the first time she was there.
He tries to convince her to join him, to be the queen of his kingdom because after all, they’re both Young Gods, supernatural creatures above everyone else rotting in the Badlands. And as she ponders his offer, she almost gives in, falling in his trap. But before she does so she realizes that he’s evil, he took advantage out of everyone and will do the same with her, because he only covets one thing and he will never share his power. So she fights her urges and beats him up, that being the first time that destroying something that she loves turns out being good.
In the end, she gets to wear the crown and to sit on the throne. To look down a balcony and see a city that’s hers. She has a voice that’s heard and that’s why she never speaks too loud, and no one has any objections to make. She’s a ruler walking through a plain path where rocks are no longer a problem, and because everything is hers she’s faithful and true. Because everything is hers she’s aware, careful and respectful. She’s loyal, kind and devoted, and because everything is hers, She Walks The Line. Because no one really lives in the Badlands, unless you are the motherfucking queen.