"The Wretched of the Earth"

This weekend I finished reading the new Dave Eggers’ novel, What is the What, a fictional autobiography of a Sudanese Lost Boy. After spending some time working with the Sudanese, I found the book incredibly well written and thoughtful. The experiences of the Lost Boys are so overwhelming each time I hear one of their stories, I feel this intense urge to do more, accompanied by the polite resignation that I know I can never completely understand. Without ruining the book, I can safely say that the closing line of the book is so powerful, that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head all weekend.

On Friday night, I went to hear one of David’s co-worker’s band play. It was a CD release party. The opening act was this acoustic guitar combo. It was the kind of music that reminded me of walking through the Wilkenson Center at BYU on a Thursday afternoon – acoustic guitars accompanying guys who are cute and non-threatening in a pre-teen kind of way. It was the kind of music that your mom listens to when she thinks that she is being hip and cool. Not my mom, though. My mom likes acoustic music that sings about whores, or maybe the Southern Cross constellation. In college, I always rolled my eyes at the silliness of the acoustic co-eds; guitar music as a means to Friday night dates. I held out my sighs and giddiness for the more experimental sounds of my favorite BYU college band, The Plan B. After all of this time, it is such a shame that I spent my Friday night listening to this flashback college acoustic music when such a short distance away, at the Paramount Theater, I could have been enjoying the unique musical stylings of the Decemberists. I think I have more to learn from chimbly sweeps and barrow boys than people who are “crazy” or “in love.” No offense, Beyonce.

Lately I have developed this unfortunate habit of thinking that I need to wear, or at least purchase, makeup. I think it is because I fear I am getting older and my skin is starting to show my age. Anyway, I recently purchased this lip gloss that burns my lips the same way that my lips used to feel after making out with someone really hard. Sometime after the age of 25, making out just starts to seem incredibly ridiculous. You can’t do it like when you were eighteen, making out behind the Morris Center at Deseret Towers. Nonetheless, even though you think you grow up and move beyond that, for some reason your lips still crave the burn.

So tell me Mr. Fanon, which one of the persons described here is “the wretched of the earth?”

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