(And Parrot Heads…an oldie but goodie in honor of Robert Smith’s birthday this week.)
I’ve always enjoyed the Grateful Dead. Some of my favorite people are Dead Heads. I respect and relate to the devotion these people, especially the ‘old’ fans, have toward their band. And while I’ve never judged those who worship this band, I never quite understood how perfectly rational, and well…some irrational and self medicated… individuals could be induced to drop everything and follow a tour.
As I found myself researching ticket prices for airlines and and tickets to The Cure’s NY performance this weekend, I thought holy …. something … this is how it happens! One moment you’re a 32 year old professional with a fantastic job, a husband, and a family, and the next thing you know you’re hitch hiking, eating out of garbage cans, and licking water off rocks for hydration so you can follow The Cure around the country.
Apparently these bands are musical crack. My mother warned me about crack. She was liberal…she said ‘you know, I know you’re going to try things like drinking and drugs. I can’t stop you, but if you are going to do it stay away from acid, crack, and heroine because you try them once and you’re hooked for life. Next thing you know you’re a sick, skinny, prostitute.’ Well you know me, you only have to give me worst case scenario and I’m sold on the straight and narrow (for the most part). I’m no crack ho, we know that! But mama never warned me about The Cure.
It’s been a few years since I last saw The Cure…I flew to Denver to see them with my best friend Val. We saw a late show and tried desperately to catch a glimpse of the band exiting to their bus. Val, the amazing friend she was, had vowed selflessly to push me in front of the bus where I would then sacrifice my left arm (I’m right handed) to the wheel. Robert, caring soul that he is, would feel compelled to take me back to the UK where he and M would nurse me back to health. Obviously I’m typing this, with both hands now, so we know this never came to fruition. We waited 2 hours and had to finally leave uninjured so I could catch my plane back to Texas. I wept on the plane, and when blogs revealed that the band did eventually leave the ampitheater and proceed to their hotel where they hung out with a few fans, I wept again…as in fetal position, in the corner, rocking myself to Disintegration. I self soothed by purchasing enormous amounts of Cure merchandise and sleeping in Cure shirts for weeks. I wasn’t right for MONTHS.
Like a dry alcoholic who lets time and relative sobriety lull them into a comfortable amnesic state or false sense of security that they are (forgive the pun) CURED of their addiction and its harmful effects, I naively attended another Cure show last week. And apparently, I again find myself in need of Cure Addicts Anonymous because I’m suffering from a serious Cure Hangover. I forgot…it somehow slipped my mind…the suffering one endures after seeing a Cure show… After Robert mouths he’s sorry, that’s it, and exits the stage. Is the 3 hours of bliss worth the undetermined period of mental, physical, and emotional anguish from withdrawal? Oh, I know the answer, but it brings me no relief. Robert would say this brief period of bliss makes 1000 years of drudgery bareable. I’m trying to believe it….I really am. What’s worse, this drink…this crack I ingested… was top shelf. Three hours of nirvana. I transcended myself. Hanging Garden, Jumping Someone Else’s Train, Lullaby, Killing an Arab, and fittingly I think, Torture (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I beg of you to go get educated). The band’s new material was amazing, and Robert smiled, danced, and enjoyed himself. Despite heat stroke conditions, this musical eargasm went on 3 hours.
Being older now, I left immediately after the show. My husband accompanied me to the show and was not as enthusiastic about the push/bus plan as Val had been, so we walked straight to the car (he seems to believe there are some unforeseen problems that could have arisen and things may not have gone as I planned. I don’t know what he’s talking about.). I felt a vaguely familiar and odd feeling on the walk back to the car. A feeling like we were being followed and things weren’t quite right…like someone or SOMETHING was sneaking up on me. Hmmm I can’t put my finger on it, but I think I’ve felt this before…..
Now, I met my husband when I was 16. I converted to Curism at the age of 18. John resisted the movement for an additional 15 years. He tolerated my Cure affinity…barely. There were comments, of course, about Robert’s hair and ‘the noise’, which I attribute to ignorance and jealousy. That’s why, when we made it to our car after the concert, I had an abrupt dawning of awareness as to what was sneaking up on me when my previously intolerant, now converted husband said, “that’s was amazing, did you see how cool Robert’s eye makeup was and the affect it had when he would scan the crowd?!” Full head snap to the left, I look at this man and think, “Oh s__” I forgot about the freaking crack. Now John’s on crack too, and I’m not going to be right for MONTHS because I not only have to work myself through my own recovery…..my husband is now a Curaholic too.
Two weeks later I’m still hung over. Looking for my next Cure fix, talking myself out of purchasing Cure eBay items and NY concert tickets. When my daughter asked me last week if I still like the boy with the crazy hair and tights, I clarifed that they weren’t tights, they were tight jeans, and that yes, actually I do. She responded by saying ‘okay, then I like him too’. And I thought, ‘you better, I’d hate to have to disown you.’ Hello? Who am I? I didn’t picture myself as the kind of mother who would abandon her child because she didn’t like boys who wear makeup and sing melancholy tunes, but apparently I’m the one.
I need my soul back people! Today I convinced a blue grass singer in the historic hotel I’m staying in in Kansas to sing some Cure covers. Needless to say, we cleared the lobby. I’m low, I’m REAL low. Somebody get a mop and get me off the floor.
Well, I’m a planner…So I have a plan…I have to have a plan or I’m going to go insane. I decided two days ago that I since I’m unwilling to quit my Cure addiction, I have no choice but to join my Dead Head friends’ lead and follow The Cure’s next tour. I may not make every show, but I’ll sure as heck make more than one. I’m hoping this plan, and time, will allow me to ease back into my life for a bit.
Let’s all hope for the best. Any interested 30-something professional or otherwise is welcome to join ; ) Now I’m off to bed where I will hopefully be able to get some sleep now that I’ve unloaded some of my anguish on to you.