When is Mercury not in retrograde?
For those not astronomically in tune, retrograde is when Mercury appears to go backwards in the night sky. This happens three times a year, for three weeks at a time. This is said to completely fuck up communication, new endeavors, and your general way of life. But it seems like Mercury is perpetually backing it up like a dump truck to unleash the ultimate karmageddon on our lives. This month, Mercury has put us through it: Afropunk was cancelled, it rained for what felt like forty days and forty nights, Flux ATL was postponed and rescheduled, Donald Trump is still a thing, and I have yet to fulfill my quest to bottom.
In the spirit of being #retrograderoadkill, I put together a playlist of songs for when you’re going through it, when you’ve had it (officially), and when it gets better.
Solange - “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work”: The title is self-explanatory. During retrograde, nothing works: your new juice cleanse, communication with your boss, your download of Scruff Pro. Everything is fucked and you’re aware of it. Solange sings the truth.
Marina & the Diamonds - “I Am Not A Robot”: Whether work is treating you like an android or one of your sexual partners thinks you’re a human vending machine of fuck, you’re not a robot.
Passion Pit - “The Reeling”: “Look at me, oh, look at me / Is this the way I’ll always be?” sings Passion Pit in one of their best songs. But it fits! By this time in Mercury’s retrograde, you’re not sure if there’s an end to the madness.
Best Coast - “Last Year”: “What a day this year has been. . . ” is probably the most #SAME moment of this song. The days are now turning into forever and getting out of bed usually comes after four whiny Facebook statuses and a swiping through Tinder.
Feist - “Past in Present”: Feist is Canadian Jesus, and her word is gospel. There must be an explanation to the hell you’re living in. You start thinking where you went wrong and what terrible karma has befallen you. Take a deep breath. Yesterday is history and today is all you have.
Lauryn Hill - “Everything Is Everything”: By this time in retrograde, you’ve reached zen. You’re completely neutral. If something bad happens, it happens. If something good happens, it happens. You’re an island that can’t be moved. Mercury’s retrograde has made you a stone of your former self.
Soul II Soul - “Keep On Movin’”: Okay, first off, Soul II Soul is one of the best groups from the 90s. But back on subject—you’re more energetic now. Your focus is to see everything through to the end. If a roadblock comes your way, you’ll make an illegal left turn with a smile and worry about the ticket later.
Kylie Minogue - “Better than Today”: Optimism is key and you genuinely believe that tomorrow will be more fruitful than the sours of today. Kylie Minogue agrees.
Kelis - “Emancipate”: Kelis’s Flesh Tone (2010)is one of the best dance pop records of the past decade and she deserves more respect as an artist. However, freeing yourself from being tied down to dead ends set up by the retrograde is what you need. Really don’t want to go to that meeting you said you would go to weeks ago? Don’t go. Just change your attendance on the Facebook event to “Maybe.” It’s the Southern thing to do.
The Go! Team - “Doing It Right”: You woke up on time today. You actually had time to eat a slice of leftover pizza for breakfast. You clocked in at 8:02, not 8:00, but it’s okay, you’re on queer person time. Things are looking up, buttercup.
Feist - “I Feel It All”: As retrograde starts to end, you start to feel every bit of yourself that you neglected in the past few weeks. You start making to-do lists to organize your life. You plan out self-care days at your favorite coffee shop to get back into the swing of things. It’s okay to feel it all—even every razor bump you got during retrograde from trying to shave in two minutes.
Little Boots - “Better in the Morning”: Everything is better in the morning: self-flection, dessert, cartoons, sex, and realizing you did it—you made it through Mercury’s retrograde. Now batten down the hatches because it’s coming again.