I talk a lot of shit, but I’m wrong all the time and I try to be ok with that. Turns out, I was wrong about The Cure. I shot my mouth off for about two years about how awful The Cure was, based on seeing 30 seconds of a music video for the song, Why Can’t I Be You? I told anyone who would listen that they were super corny and that you should never listen to them. Like an idiot. I still don’t like that song, but what I didn’t know yet, was that they had six or seven albums before that, that I would absolutely fall in love with.
My girlfriend had all of their albums on cassette. I would never let her play The Cure around me. I’d say, “Ew. No. Shut that shit off.” Then she’d put on Alladin Sane, and I’d stop being a creep for a while. She also had a book laying around called, Ten Imaginary Years, that chronicled the band’s career to that point. I picked it up and read it from cover to cover one time, while she was getting a shower and making us an hour and a half late for some family party at a nearby banquet hall. I thought to myself, It’s a shame The Cure suck so bad. They seem really cool.
One night, a whole crowd, maybe six or seven of us, girls and guys were all jammed into a TV room at her house and everybody wanted to watch a movie. She had The Cure in Orange, Legend, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Ralph Bakshi Lord Of The Rings, and Watership Down on VHS. That was her whole collection. Everybody was like, “You have The Cure, Orange?!?! We want to watch that!” I was like, “Yo! I will totally drive us all (4 blocks) to the video store!! I will even pay($2.50) for the Video(s)!!!” They were all like, “sit the fuck down, we wanna watch this! Fuckin order a pizza! Will Ya?!?”
So, I ordered the pizza and some fries and a two liter bottle of Pepsi and waited near the front door for the delivery guy because I’m paranoid that I won’t hear the doorbell-totally passive agressive tryin to dis The Cure. As I stand there, I hear the crowd roar to life just as the band launch into Shake Dog Shake. From a room and a half away, I’m thinking’ Goddam. That’s so heavy. It’s a shame it sucks, though, since it’s The Cure. Then they played Piggy In The Mirror, which I legitimately thought was a nothing of a song.
At that point, I got sick of being isolated and a dick, so I went back into the TV room and squeezed back onto the couch and figured I would just suck it up and prepared to be annoyed for another hour or so. I looked at the TV and Robert Smith had a decent haircut. I was shocked. He looked male. Then, I had my mind blown. The band played, Play For Today, Primary, Kyoto Song, and Charlotte Sometimes. Tight, perfect, sometimes dirge-like, atmospheric pop songs played just to perfection; beautifully lit as the sun goes down over an ancient theater somewhere in distant France. I was instantly a fan. I now knew that I loved The Cure and there was no denying it. I started to feel this great relief. Like, it was a big weight off my chest to be able to just, LIKE The Cure.
The doorbell rang and I went and answered it and paid the pizza guy and got the shit and took it into the dining room and got the spices out of the cabinets and put a piece of pizza and a fistful of fries onto my plate. I took all four of the ketchup packets that came with the food and stuck them into my pocket. I wasn’t about to try and deal with whatever crusty ketchup bottle situation was going on in this house. I’ll let the rest of these fucking Phillistines deal with that shit. I GOT my ketchup. None of them probably even had enough ambition to seek out ketchup that wasn’t handed to them anyway. I got a big beer mug and filled it with ice cubes and poured the room temperature Pepsi into it. Two of the ice cubes exploded as the bubbles topped the edge of the glass. I swooped down and slurped them off the top, trying to suck as deep as I could into the mug to make the bubbles go away faster so I could pour as much Pepsi as possible into the cup without waiting a whole long time for bubbles to go away. I shook a whole bunch of oregano onto my slice. Then I got the garlic powder. They didn’t have fuckin garlic SALT(!) because that was unhealthy or something. I shook some garlic powder onto my slice, but not too much, because garlic powder can make a slice seem dusty and I don’t like when that happens. Then, I grabbed the salt and lightly shook it onto my pizza, thereby, kind of creating my own special recipe of garlic salt. I shook the salt aggressively onto my fries, but it wouldn’t stick to them. It just bounced off and landed on the plate. That’s ok, I thought. I can get it onto the fries one at a time. Some ketchup from these packets’ll make it stick to them. I shook some red pepper flakes onto the slice, and then a little bit of regular pepper. I reached into the fridge and grabbed out a small bottle of Tobacco sauce. I slid it into the big pocket on the leg of my baggy gray cargo pants. This way, when I was done the body of the slice, I could have some spicy flavor on my crust. Also the moisture of the Tobasco would help to make whatever dry spices fell off the slice, stick to the crust and that way, nothin would get onto the bottom of my next slice. Clean plate start over, ya know? I velcro’d the pocket shut, and grabbed my mug and my plate and went back to the TV room.
“I’m coming to find you if it takes me all night. A witch hunt for another girl…” , Robert Smith sang. I sat down and told everybody there was pizza. Most of them got up and went into the kitchen. “You mind if I rewind this?” “I don’t care.”, Tracy said, blandly. I hit rewind (search) and held it until it looked like they were between songs. “Iss sunks uff uh deh fing uh du doe. Iss coult…uh noight wike dahsf.” Robert Smith said into the microphone with the most insane English accent I had ever heard. They launched into the song again. “What the hell did he just say?!” I asked with my mouth full of half chewed pizza. “This song’s off The Thing On The Door. It’s called A Night Like This”, Star replied. But he means, The HEAD On The Door, she said, not breaking Robert Smith’s gaze. “I think this is like…their best song! It’s so good!”, I hollered. “See? A few minutes ago, You didn’t even wanna watch it.” Star said. “I know, right?” Tracy said, dryly.
Everybody started coming back into the room just as the song ended. I said, “Oh my god, that song is so good!” “Shhhhhhh. Shut up” they said. While they were all in the kitchen I snagged the recliner. I wanted to go get more pizza, but I didn’t want to lose the seat, so I kicked back and watched the rest of the concert. It was absolutely perfect. Every single song for the rest of the show was great. As it got darker at Orange, the stage lighting got more dramatic as the set careened into the undeniably gothic, One Hundred Years, A Forest, and Sinking part of the set. It was all just so very perfect. Just psychedelic enough, just goth enough, just accessible enough, amazing songs. Where was all of that dickhead dancing and cartoon bullshit and animal costumes from that horrible video I saw? I hoped they wouldn’t start doing any of that. They didn’t. They didn’t jump around at all. They all just stood in their places. Mildly swaying. Playing uncomplicated, yet highly engaging, entertaining music. Some of them had Peavey amps, just like me!. Robert looked like he could barely play the guitar. I mean it sounded great, but there was no guitar hero shit happening. Nothing it looked like I couldn’t learn pretty quickly with a bit of practice.
I finally went and got more pizza, and fries and Pepsi. When I got back, Josh had stolen the recliner. The last two songs played, and I was like, “Wow. I fuckin love The Cure. Was there anything from Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me? In that concert?” I asked them all. That was their current album. “No. This is from before that. Right before that.” “Wow. My mind is blown, man. I really liked that. I guess I like everything up until that.” Nobody reacted at all. Not even a shrug. Why would they give a fuck if I like The Cure?
After a while, everybody left. Shortly after that, I had to leave too. “Let me borrow your Head On The Door tape?” “Yeah, hang on. I’ll go get it.”, she said, blankly.