The other day I suddenly stopped in my tracks and did nothing for almost 4 minutes. The occasion…my Ipod decided to play an early Cure song, ‘Play for Today’. What’s with this song, why does it make me stop, do nothing and go back in time? The answer essentially is that ‘Play for Today’ defined my teenage years. Hearing its first bars was enough to take me back to the pain and (yes, that too) the promise of my formative years. No other song symbolises, clarifies and actually amplifies as strongly the gap between what I was and wanted to be. Every single word of its lyrics makes sense to me, I can literally walk through it, and explain it all…
It’s not a case of doing what’s right
It’s just the way I feel that matters
Tell me I’m wrong
I don’t really care
Explanation: I am a shy teenager. No one really pays attention to me. I’m not even special for my friends. I will build a wall around my heart, one stronger than the Chinese Wall and definitely more real than Trump’s Mexican one. I could shout out Sex Pistol’s Pretty Vacant on the streets at night (‘we’re pretty, pretty vacant, and we don’t care…), but I prefer the solitude of just feeling the way I feel and not caring about what other people think.
It’s not a case of share and share alike
I take what I require
I don’t understand…
You say it’s not fair
Explanation: Fairness is for sissies. No one will give me anything. No one has given me anything. I have to take what I need. I just don’t dare doing it yet, I’m still too shy, but one day I will, I’m just preparing.
You expect me to act
Like a lover
Consider my moves
And deserve the reward
To hold you in my arms
And wait…and wait…
And wait for something to happen
Explanation: Stop trying. Why is everyone so traditional? Why do girls just sit back and judge all the guys parading? My dance moves are of the post-punk bat-cave kind, I will save them for drunken nights at sparsely lit bars. It’s not for you. I will not consider my romantic moves, not even my next one. I just want to get drunk and forget. That’s enough reward for me, nothing will happen anyway. Not today, not tomorrow.
It’s not a case of telling the truth
Some lines just fit the situation
You call me a liar
You would anyway
Explanation: I don’t want to lie, I’m just not very fond of the truth. I prefer to live in my own parallel universe, with my own rules. You can call that lying, for me it’s just a matter of interpretation. Don’t be mad, you can always join me here, and be on my side.
Seventeen Seconds marked The Cure’s transition from poppy and fresh to kings of doom. A Forest was its most popular song, but Play for Today defined me. It still does. Hearing it is enough to transport me back in time.