One of my most treasured hobbies used to be scouring eBay for Cure artifacts. (OK, I still do this sometimes, but it’s not as much fun now that I don’t have Mommy’s AmEx card to pay for my bounty.) Some girl painted the above portrait of Robert for an art class and I had to have it. Henry and I were at King’s Island in Cincinnati the day that the auction was ending, and this was in 2005 so I didn’thave the luxury of hawkeyeing my iPhone every 3 seconds, watching the auction countdown.
So I did it the old-fashioned way: I wrote “DON’T FORGET THE CURE” on my wrist and left the amusement park early enough to get back to Christina’s house so I could place my winning bid. I love the fuck out of this painting and hopefully one day I’ll find a suitable (read: gaudy) frame for it.
I think I won this on eBay in 1999? It was actually delivered to my house on Christmas Day, that much I do remember. It was the best Christmas present ever.
Yes, before I had a Jonny Craig doll, I had a Robert Smith doll. I’m certain I (see also: my mom) paid a small fortune for this.
But my favorite piece in my collection is probably this limited edition print of a self-portrait Robert painted in 1990. At the bottom is a verse from the yet-to-be-released “Letter to Elise.” This print has been hanging over my couch for as long as I can remember and I refuse to replace it with anything else, not even a picture of my kid.
I remember this one time, a journal that Robert Smith and Lydia Lunch had shared together was up for auction. Of course, the reserve on it was something astronomical. I drove to my mom’s house to beg her to help me get it, I pulled my hair in desperation, I rolled around on her kitchen floor in anguish. At the pinnacle of my frenzy, I even suggested that I sell my car.
You guys, I was pretty obsessed. I have really calmed down a lot since then (I mean, mostly) but there is not a day that goes by that I regret a single cent I spent on any of this memorabilia. The Cure was such a huge coming-of-age influence on me and helped me really discover who I was behind that yo-girl, gangsta rap-spouting front I always had up. I never really considered myself to be Goth, but being on the periphery of that scene was really where I started to find myself. I was even inspired to not only start writing again, but to share my writing with strangers. I stopped being the fake-happy person I thought everyone else wanted me to be and started being myself. In a way, the Cure kind of helped me to grow some fucking balls.
And now I’ll leave you with the song that reminds me of driving down dark country roads to haunted hayrides; roomfuls of apple cider candles; and sitting cross-legged on the floor, making mixtapes.