Home > Red Spiral Notebook > [December, 1994] Sowing the Seeds of Goth

[December, 1994] Sowing the Seeds of Goth


“No matter where you are I can always hear you when you drown” – SP [Smashing Pumpkins]

Went to the circus yesterday. Didn’t feel well most of the day. Finally on the way home I opened the car door and puked 3 consecutive times. Puked again later that night. What a lovely feeling that was. Had a dream two people lent me two different Cure tapes (or something like that).

I’m watching “The Crow” right now. Liking it a lot. The music in it (Cure, NIN) is very cool. Just going to try to keep some liquids down today.

“You got a head full of traffic
You’re a siren song” – U2


I remember that circus outing quite well, especially its aftermath. I think my parents were more excited to go than I was, because it was the Moscow Circus, which they had probably seen as kids in the motherland or something. I was still looking forward to it; after all, my favorite movie featured a trapeze artist, and I figured if Russians were so good at producing Olympic athletes, they probably put on a good circus.

Mom made me an omelet for breakfast that day, which tasted strange, sweet. I asked what was in it and it turned out she had mixed some orange juice into the eggs because we were out of milk. How she imagined that would be a suitable substitute is beyond me (in later years I think she also used flavored coffee creamer at least once; we’re a family of Russian kooks, what can I say). I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I didn’t make a fuss at ate the whole thing. 

At the circus, I started to feel unwell, breaking out into that ominous sweat that leads to very bad things. The acrobats and clowns were impressive, but my churning stomach made it difficult to enjoy. It could have been a stomach flu that I caught some other way, but I blame those eggs.  I still remember the ride home, too, and my father stopping around the corner from our apartment to get something from the corner deli. When I opened the rear door to be sick, I did not see the little boy watching me from a few feet away until I was done triple-puking. The poor kid looked vaguely traumatized. 

I had this very picture hanging up in my room back in the day.

As for The Crow, I remember news stories reporting Brandon Lee’s accidental death on the set of the film in 1993. He was only 28, engaged to be married, and died at the beginning of what many said would be a promising film career, following in his father Bruce’s footsteps. For whatever reason, I didn’t see the movie when it came out in theaters, because despite the cool leather clothes and dark make-up, it still looked like a shoot-’em-up action movie geared more toward guys.

When I did finally see The Crow on cable, I was taken in by the tragedy of the story (on and off the screen), the music, and of course the gloomy aesthetic. Yes, it was gritty and violent, but at its core it about a man avenging the death of the woman he loved and I found the whole thing to be brutally romantic.  

I was still too passionate about wearing color and listening to a variety of of music to classify myself as a goth, but the foundation was being laid. Between my obsession with Nine Inch Nails, my growing appreciation for The Cure, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Clive Barker, and now movies like The Crow, I enjoyed exploring these darker themes, the drama and intensity of them.

But it’s not like I was about to dye my hair and all my clothes black or anything. That would come later.

  1. Liz
    January 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I was soooooo obsessed with The Crow. Just recently while visiting my parents, I found Crow-inspired artwork in an old sketchbook of mine. 😛
    I even dressed up as Eric for Halloween when I was 15 (terrible flaky black spray-in dye; tight top that made it very obvious I was *not* a dude). I had the soundtrack on cassette, and got my dad to copy the video, too. 😉

    • January 17, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      Wow, I never would have guessed! I would love to see some of that Crow-inspired artwork or (better yet) a pic of you dressed as Eric Draven for Halloween. Ha, I think my VHS version of the movie is also a copy.

      • Liz
        January 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

        Hee hee…I will try to remember to look for those items the next time I’m in NYC. I suppose it’s slightly less cringe-y than some of my other juvenilia. I was a rather melodramatic kid. 😉

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