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You know you want to sing the chorus to this one:

"Hey now, hey now
Don't dream it's over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won't win"

Yes, I heard "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House on the radio today and, sap that I am, I got all choked up with emotion, just like I used to in 1986 when this song was first released. Back then, I got emotional because I was a lowly freshman and having a hard time not being depressed about the four long years of high school that were ahead of me. Ah, high school and her maliciousness. Those four long years certainly dragged in their passing.

Thankfully, it's twenty plus years since freshman year. Nowadays when I hear this song, I get choked up over the possibilities, over what could have been, and what still can be if I only have enough courage to make things happen. It's the reason why the only poem I've ever memorized is "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. All of it makes me think back to the different directions my life could have taken. Sometimes I am amazed by the choices I made. Often, I'm utterly saddened by them. So you see, I have to remember it's never over.

Goodness, who knew a 21 year old song by a little Australian band called Crowded House would inspire such musings?

I know, it's Black History Month so you might think I'd probably be reading something related to black history. Well, I'm not. Go ahead, revoke my black card if you want to.

Instead of slave narratives or Toni Morrison, this past Friday night, I picked up a copy of The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir. This tale of post-World War II angst and how people do or don't pick up the pieces when they've been existing in the midst of a living hell has been on my reading list for many years.

It's terribly cheesy but I remember the book catching my eye when I was a teenager for two reasons. First, isn't "Simone de Beauvoir" a great name? I didn't know a thing about her, but I wanted that name. (After all, what teenager doesn't want to change their name at some point?) Second, I'd heard that although it deals with weighty realism and existential questions, parts of it read a bit like a romance novel. I'm a terrible romantic and a morbid realist, even though the combination of those two things just seems impossible.

I've heard that the writing is a bit dry at parts, even though the opening seems fine to me. We'll see. If you've ever read The Mandarins, let me know what you thought of it.

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