I returned Japanese Whispers the next day. I had listened to it twice. Once while I copied it onto a cassette tape and again on the copy to make sure I did it correctly.
I loved it. It made me happy.
What do you mean?
You’re just the kind of person that would get happy listening to The Cure.
What does that mean?
You’re just so f**king happy all the time. Not even The Cure can bring you down.
Yes, I fooled Mike Pinkston. The mask was so complete that he couldn’t see beneath it. I was a normal teenager. I had as much angst as the next teen, but I hid it very well. I put on a Pollyanna attitude, thinking that I should fake it until I could believe it.
The truth of it all was, I wasn’t lying to him. I really liked that album. It really did make me happy. Listening to Robert Smith cry out made me know that I wasn’t alone. It helped me to see that my angst wasn’t nearly as bad as it could be. I wasn’t suffering alone and I wasn’t suffering nearly as much as I could. Yes, The Cure made me happy.
Japanese Whispers was the first of a music starved binge. I went to every music store in town looking for albums by The Cure. I bought them all. I’ll never forget my birthday that year when Dylan bought me a very rare live album. It’s sitting in my basement now. I believe I listened to it once so I could tape it onto cassette. Very rare Cure record, only played once. I should try to sell it on EBay.
That is how The Cure came to represent the Eighties for me. I rarely danced to them, but dancing was my whole life back then. If people who knew me would have described me, they wouldn’t have even thought to put me in the depressed Goth category, mainly because we only had two Goths when I went to high school. NecroNerds were really after my time. Most people put me with the Jocks and Cheerleaders in retrospect, but I really was a Punk Rock Girl.
Now, I look at my prissy Selma Blair in Legally Blonde hair. I look at my secretary costume and I feel like I’m behind another mask. I’m not pretending to be happy to mask teen angst. I’m pretending to be traditional to mask my punkdom. I look like a soccer mom, but I’m not a mom. Worse still, I’m always just “this close” to kicking someone in the balls. I never do because that might bust my mask, but still, that violence is right there, hiding beneath it all. So, tell me. Have you heard anything good lately? What do you recommend?