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The Cure: Speak My Language

On a small corner lot in the middle of a field turned suburbia, I heard the Cure for the first time. This was 1985 in small town Ohio and MTV was still playing music like it was radio. You knew exactly what was on rotation. But there was a show called Friday Night Videos that no one really watched. It was obscure videos on a mainstream station. During the halfway point of each show, there was a block of videos by the same artist. I was 15 and about to hear the Cure for the first time, get my first lead singer obsession and subsequent identity crisis, and set my little green eyes upon Simon Gallup. Up until this point I was a music runaway. Just squatting for a song but never staying long. “Let’s Go to Bed” was the first song I heard and I’m going to tell you it was like fucking electric shock. It was everything, the music, Robert Smith’s voice, the second layer of subconscious sound under the first layer of conscious sound. A few weeks later I bought The Head on the Door on vinyl. After that I went back and got everything before that record. Then I got posters, postcards, magazines ,white face powder, red lipstick, black eyeliner, and my first pair of British imported shoes. I put pictures of the Cure in my locker and a picture of Robert on my folder. Someone wrote fag across his face. Probably one of the skoal boys. I started teasing my hair. Added about twenty minutes to my getting ready for school time. One morning my father refused to take me to school “looking like dead girl”. I didn’t give a damn. I walked. This was a farming town. I never belonged and the Cure was my bus ticket out. I spent hours in the dark with my headphones listening to the Cure– arguing with my father about the Head on the Door poster not being demonic. Telling him how Elvis sexualized and dirtied up the fifties housewife so who was he to tell me about the “right kind” of music. How the Cure was doing something that I had never heard before. He said the Beatles started this shit and men don’t wear lipstick and I better not be smoking “the pot”. I didn’t need dope because the Cure took me to outer-space and left me outside of gravity. The last Cure album I bought was Disintegration. When I heard that album for the first time I knew the Cure had reached their 7—their completion. I knew it would be hard to make another album like that. I also saw their mainstream future. But you can’t hate a kid for getting popular. Brilliance never stays in the shadows. It’s just too bright.

  • Ara, 17 years old

About Ara Harris

Ara Harris
Music junkie, Atari 2600 bringer backer, word maker upper, loves to photograph and write about suburban decay. Ara grew up on a corner lot in small town Ohio. She began escaping the micro minds of the Midwest by listening to music, watching b films, and touring the cities in her mind. She wrote poetry on the back of algebra tests and asked Lou Reed to take her to prom. Two decades later she self published a full collection of poetry that one reader described as “a Tom Verlaine riff in every synapse”. She believes that we all have a gift, we just have to find it.

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