Thursday, September 4, 2008

About a Boy

"See there are lives and LIVES. Lives that a significant portion of any demographic group can label: "Well lived," and then those that can only be branded as "Lowly Existences." Lives so empty they earn no more than an "Unidetified Black Male" toe-tag in the morgue of life. I do not know much about the former but of the later, I can attempt an exposition. If it were to sound too much like a personal experience, then who knows. Maybe...

This is the story. The story of a mid-twenties Kenyan guy trying to afford his next shot of liquor. A young man who, maybe by the circumstances of his lowly birth, individual failings or the caprice of The Fate Sisters, has found himself staring up success' posterior end.

This story is not easy to tell but someone has to tell it. It has to be told because it is the story of any boy in any urban neighborhood - from Cape Town to Cairo. The story of a life that exists in the past of "yesterday I got drunk" and has no apparent hope of a "Tomorrow is my first day at the new job."

It is easy to think that those of us - yes we are more than a crowd - living this life want to be here. Well, maybe some do and some don't. I cannot tell you about some. But I can tell you about me. The only story I know how to tell is that of the one, the only POTASH."

This is quite possibly some of the best writing I have read in a while. It is humorous, and pensive at the same time (kinda like Woody Allen), and even though I haven't read all of it yet (not for lack of interest - I have been devouring post after post with a voracious avidity) I would venture to compare this to the magical realism of Zadie Smith and at times, dare I say it, Salman Rushdie.

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