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Written By: F. John Surells

I’ve learned it’s often easier for writers to end written pieces than begin them. And the truth of that statement lies, I believe, in certain writers’ wishes to distance themselves from all that’s discussed. But it’s a sunny day, and outside the writer reposes - supposes imagination intermingled with memory. And all the players who played a role in an individual’s existence are once again performing on a stage of reminiscence. And the actors perform, and the captive writer hears and sees them; yet doesn’t hear or see anything he or she hasn’t heard or seen before. Nevertheless, it seems a form of liberation can be found through the usage of words; if indeed that’s what a writer is seeking. And, after all, who or what else can really negate the damage done by the peddlers of blame and gossip?
But those actors just spoken of have themselves spoken of both positive and negative occurrences. And in public opinion’s court they’ve testified that only when humans live their lives in such fashions as do not make them burdens upon others, is when they’ve progressed as living beings. But when they’ve said that, the actors have been careful to explain their true meaning. They weren’t addressing those who for one reason or another couldn’t be productive. They were addressing the lazy and the criminal.
Still, past actors can only influence the writer for so long, and then he or she may seek peace innocently within distantness, or corruptly within suspicion. But even then he or she will know that evil lurks somewhere. And on this sunny day that evil lurks in Eastern Europe. It’s being demonstrated where Goliaths are invading Davids. War crimes are apparently being committed, and the world is left to wonder why a nation so wealthy, large, and powerful needs to prey upon, and use Nazi-like tactics against a peaceful neighbor.
Nonetheless, here’s a day to think back. And, invariably the writer thinks first to all that went afoul, and then to why it did. And then, he or she inevitably recalls greater and lesser dilemmas. And yes, there were stories of horror, but there were also rumors and accusations; and if only the writer could have claimed, or could yet claim innocence from them all!
But, innocents in other lands have learned that many from the land invaded have left it to seek sanctuary within the borders of those non-violated. Yet, surely those on the other sides of various borders have their own problems to face. And, surely those in peace seek enjoyment in their own lands. And, they know of time. And they know only so much of it has been allotted to them on their earthly journeys – whether or not they’ve been forced to fight neighboring bullies. But neighboring bullies shouldn’t be allowed to force one nation’s citizens to become wards of another.
Yet, this writing wasn’t supposed to focus on the unprovoked war in Eastern Europe. Rather, its central topic was to be how one’s thoughts, whether concentrated just then upon peaceful or sinister matters, can sometimes be unexpectedly interrupted by scam telephone calls. And, also, these words are being written on behalf of a friend. He’s not a member of our artistic enclave, but does visit our city from time to time. He’s a kind man. He’s an artistic man. And he seems to be a fairly conservative man. But, he didn’t wish to write this piece. He said “John, you know what needs to be said. Here are a random grouping of currently important themes, and in my opinion, you needn’t strive for ‘order of presentation’ when reporting them. What’s important is that you discuss them in one fashion or another.”
And thus, I’d say the following is an example of how the manifestation of mankind’s ill-will can sometimes overwhelm its thoughts of cruelty. I was thinking about the tragedy in Eastern Europe, when suddenly my phone rang. And according to the name displayed on the caller ID, it was None calling. But I didn’t answer None’s call. I’ve become accustomed to likely troublemakers attempting to contact me for what I’m sure are dubious reasons. In fact, over the last few years I’ve received calls from such luminaries as “Name Withheld,” “Unknown Caller,” “Spam Risk,” “Unavailable,” and other no doubt similarly dishonest individuals. But I guess the pinnacle of telephone chicanery was reached some time ago when the caller ID informed me that apparently I’d called myself!
And, I suppose after one has been contacted numerous times by such mysterious figures, one begins to wonder who they really are. And I asked that of the friend I alluded to earlier. “Well,” he said, “first of all, let me apologize to the readers of this forum for an unfulfilled promise made about five years ago. I had decided to write four poems then to be entitled The Scam Poems. Poems One and Two did appear in this forum, but unfortunately Three and Three Point Nine never did, although they were written. But here’s a valid promise: They’ll all appear here soon!”
And my friend continued then, “Maybe those unknown callers represent what we know will always remain unknown. And maybe, in a figurative, but yet seemingly real way, their lives are already over. And, I’d wager that long ago, down a line of many altered lives, several lovers of sameness, blandness, and war cast them as symbolic role fulfillers who exist to provide phony heroes for whomever may find him or herself in need of such charlatans.”
And now, at this point in this disclosure, I’ll end the dialogue I had with my friend and concentrate upon some final observations which have come to me as a result of contact with no ones such as None. I’m sure it’s as difficult to direct the directionless as it is to supply clues to the clueless. Nonetheless, what I’ve written here today speaks to everyone of course, but especially to those who enjoy furthering non-truth either through scams, fake news, or outright lies. And yes, there are a lot of faces on the target, but only one shot can be the first to be fired, and only one face can be targeted initially. And that’s, I fear, one of the great beliefs of the scammers. And look, now they’re offering their devious, unhelpful, and often costly “aid” to those experiencing “internet problems.”
But no matter how much deceivers have cost my lifestyle, and no matter how much or how little I find myself appreciated, my personal artistic journey continues. And I’ve learned that just because a destination may have been reached, doesn’t mean a journey is necessarily over. And I’ve come to cling to a dual hope as regards the old cliché that “life goes on”: First, I want life to continue on in goodness, and second, I don’t want anyone to control any part of anyone else’s existence.

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