God, I used to take the band The Cure, sooooo seriously. It seems inconceivable that there was a time in my life, about fifteen years ago when a band ruled the way I dressed, talked, thought, put phrases together, everything. Everything.
For me, I wanted to be like the Cure. Not just Robert Smith. The band. The cover art. The album lyrics. I wanted to try the whole Cure thing on and cuddle up in it.
They have this one song called 10:15 on a Saturday Night. The lyrics go, “And I’m sitting in the kitchen sink…and the tap drips, drip, drip, drip, drip.”
I would stay home on Saturday nights, literally get into my mother’s kitchen sink (hard to do, we had those side by side old school sinks) and turn on the faucet ever so slightly so the tap would drip. I would put a pot of water in the sink (not mentioned in the lyrics) so that when the tap dripped it made a “splish” noise. I would call my friends at 10:15 on the dot and tell them that it was “10:15 on a Saturday night and I’m sitting in the kitchen sink.”
I would keep Christmas lights up in my bedroom into January and in my dorm (God, I even did this in college) so that I could listen to the song “Let’s Go To Bed” and act out the lyrics, “Laughing at the Christmas lights, you remember from December.”
I started to incorporate their lyrics into my daily talk. Referring to myself as “such a strange girl, I think I come from another world.” Saying things like, “Why can’t I be you?” or “It’s so cold, like the cold if you were dead.”
Or weirder lyrics like, “We should have each other with cream…it’s the grooviest thing, it’s the perfect dream.” or “Flicker, flicker, flicker, flicker here you are. Cat-ah-cat-ah-cat-ah-Caterpillar Girl.”
The worst was when I was tipped off that the song “Killing an Arab” was just a point of view song, written about Albert Camus’ “The Stranger”. Well, I’m a dumb ass high school kid and I can look that one up in my high school library. Hang on, while I get a superior look on my face when I check this book out. I know I didn’t write the book or anything but borrowing it from a library is pretty much the same thing.
Well, if there wasn’t a moment in the cafeteria when I wasn’t reading that while listening to Killing An Arab (two senses at once!)….I didn’t realize that The Stranger, while brilliant, is like an introduction to critical thinking. You can go further in your reading after that book. Not this asshole. I thought that with each new thing I learned, that was it. I now proclaim to know it all!
I actually shelled out the money and bought a copy of The Stranger and wrote a two page handwritten letter on the inside cover of the book. (There were blank pages in front, perhaps for this very reason?) I wrote to Robert Smith and empathized with him that his audience doesn’t ‘get it’. They just want to hear Boys Don’t Cry and they don’t even get that song on the deep level that I do. I wrote in the book something to the effect of…..”You’re probably reading this backstage and the roar of the crowd wants you out for one more encore and if it’s going to be Killing An Arab, give me a wink, so I know that you read this and hopefully it will help you that even though thousands of fans are screaming at you, one of them here tonight, at least, “gets it.”
Then, I wound up my arm and threw the book on stage. It whizzed by Robert but hit the bassist in the head. He looked up and the book fell under the speaker. When the band went backstage for their encore, I, the one who “gets it”, was trying to scream over the roar of the crowd and the kicking of the seats to get a roadie to hear me. “The book! It’s under the speaker! Bring it backstage!”
Tonight I listened to Love Cats in the car even though I’ve heard it a bazillion times and enjoyed the fact that there is absolutely nothing to ‘get.’