Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Written By: F. John Surells
Just now I’m thinking I feel a lot like the man who is my main focus in this piece most likely felt when he left the first line of a poem unwritten. Yes, he left the initial line blank, and then wrote as that poem’s second line “has been left unwritten.”
I say we have, as mortals, two great human influencers who greatly assist us in our making of temporal decisions. Their beliefs stimulate us mentally. Their actions challenge us physically. And we use their totalities of being to help construct our own. But who are those people? The first is a love of one’s life, and the second is one’s greatest philosophical mentor.
And personally, I and a number of others have previously stated in these writings that the love of my life is Renni Maes-Surells, but my greatest mentor is a man whose name can’t be shared here. He exists in a realm I call “the underground,” though I’ve referenced him in other writings as “the man from the (two words deleted).” And the following are some points of view and reminiscences concerning him.
“This is the end of our grace period in regard to you,” said the conformers. “All your life all you’ve really done has been throw stones against the bastions of structure. And don’t try to revel in clarity, or excuse wrong deeds you may have done simply because you knew long ago that there hadn’t been any collusion or obstruction.”
“Sometimes maybe it’s better to leave unsaid certain sayings which others might raise eyebrows to; but then, if they don’t know you have the capability to say such sayings by now, then I guess they never will know of that capability, and, they’ll never really know you! And besides that, who is ever going to truthfully tell us if one should use a slash mark rather than a semi-colon, or what Fitzgerald and Poe thought about starting sentences with gerunds, and why, in all candor, the best looking woman at the performance wasn’t really a woman, but rather a man who dressed like, and appeared to be a woman?
But, with that last question having been posed, the man from the underground said “Alright, enough is enough. Let the record show that while I believed members of one sex could be attracted to members of that same sex, I was never one of those. And, likewise, if it’s true that certain mortals identify as being both sexes simultaneously, then I believe only they can understand and confront the realities of such a situation.”
But then suddenly the defenders of conformity interjected themselves into the conversation yet again. “We’ve got a lot to say now” they said. “And please, from this point on, don’t even bother to distinguish our concerns with the use of quotation marks.”
“You’ve got it”! said the underground man. And he set off his quote with quotation marks.
Opposites often attract, but attractions often fade. They fade away sometimes, and then those who were attracted are left to hold on to reminiscences, but only if they wish to; or only if they somehow simply can’t free themselves from them.
Sometimes (and that some time may be any day time) I feel like a man who just reached the garden gate after walking down a straight and narrow concrete walkway from his home inside the sanctuary of literature. And as I open that gate, and prepare to leave an abode of personal personalities, I realize that today, as on all previous days, and I suppose as on all days to come, I have an idea of, but can’t actually say for certain what lies ahead of me in the world outside the barrier which opens and closes my world to that of others.
And, yes, I’ll open the gate, and I’ll walk out into an unknown and an unsuspecting world, but before I do, I’ll say a prayer here on the inside. “God of all that’s known and not known, keep me and those I love safe this day. And guard the world you created. Keep it safe from those who are evil, and from those who are careless, and also from those who, apparently for one reason or another, can’t realize what the ramifications of their beliefs and actions may be.”
And with that prayer said, it occurs to me that some may think me arrogant or narcissistic, or both. And some may feel I’m a number of other objectionable things as well. But yet, whenever those fears of possible behind my back condemnations visit me, I’m also reminded of two simplistic clichés: One, I don’t want to fade away without having said what I knew needed to be said; and two, I don’t want to be simply gone – even if it may be that I’d be gone but not forgotten.
And I’ve already pledged my love, respect, and allegiance to the Master of the Universe, but now I want to speak of a certain man I’ve spoken of before in these postings. He’s been my greatest mortal influence – I think! That is, he doesn’t live in my city. He only visits it from time to time. I got an email from Ralph recently. He wrote that the so-called “man from the green city” will soon be visiting our city once again. And, Ralph asked if I’d attempt to write what he termed a “free flow prose piece” in honor of that man and his city. And Ralph said he’d give me a “free hand” to construct that piece (or pieces if I needed to extend to two postings), but he wished me to entitle that composition “The King Of The Underground,” which apparently is the new appellation he’s given to the man whom we previously addressed as the man from the green city.
Now, as you may surmise, this is a daunting task in that I don’t want to disappoint Ralph or the man whom I’ll be referencing. But yet, from the few times I’ve met the Underground’s newly crowned monarch, I think I can easily hold forth here for at least two postings, and, could probably extend beyond that. Trust me, the King is such a mortal as you’ll most likely never meet. He has his own mind, his own beliefs, and, like our city’s leader Ralph Hawk, seems also to have what I’ll call “an iron will.” Still, his interests and concerns seem to be varied and multi-faceted. Thus, expect the words that will follow here to exemplify what I perceive as being his “reality of being”. And, please
remember that the words I’ll write here will most likely only be visions held briefly within my comprehension. And, I’m thinking that most of those which won’t directly reference the King, but which will instead speak to other random matters, may emanate from news broadcasts which we’ve lately learned tend to report the incorrect and the fake, rather than the truthful and verifiable.
Thus, narcissism I grant you a free reign here! Anoint your new king!
Look! There’s a picture of a boy who, as a man I came to know as a friend, though I only saw him when he infrequently visited our city. And, he visits here yet sometimes still, albeit always with a mind concerned about the future, while often contemplating the past.
And there’s a year written on that picture I referenced a paragraph ago. It’s 1955. And on the picture the lad seems to be proud of his new toy log assemblage. But then I guess a year passed, and the Union of Soviets invaded Hungary, and the boy learned, mostly through personal study, about Nikita Khruschev, Joseph Stalin, and Communism.
And, with a knowledge of the far left wing of the political spectrum in hand, an introduction to the far right wing came with the trial of Adolf Eichman in the early 1960’s. And some background study taught the lad about The Fuhrer and the dream of a fascist world. But then came November 1963 and the death of a Democratic president. And today how many in his party would dare ask what people could do for their country rather than what their country could do for them?
And after the assassination, a cultural void was filled by English musicians. And they soothed the conscience of America until the nation’s most divisive war began to rage in the middle of the 1960’s. And in 1969 it was at its ugliest.
But it was fashionable to live in cliques at that time. And cliques and communes were fine for a while, until the leader of one of them sent some of his followers out to commit some brutal murders – in 1969.
But, now it’s happened! We’ve reached a juncture at which we’re no longer certain that certain occurrences really occurred, or whether they did occur, but in different ways and means from those believed and gossiped about by commoners we may have known.
But the absolute truth and truths of the past are known only to the masters of the universe. And of them today we ask forgiveness for all wrongs we’ve committed. And we assure them and all their inferiors that our remorse for errors committed is sincere. And then we – carry on. And then we – try to live better than we have.
But our respect is given only to those who’ve earned it. We won’t allow ourselves to be degraded by old men and elderly women who shake their fingers at us and blame us for an environment that’s changing. Of course the environment is changing! But so are many other things! Are we living in a vacuum where all remains the same except for such alterations which chastise the middle and lower classes?
And you young men and women who occupy seats in the various levels of our nation’s government; many of you are sadly incompetent to perform the duties you’ve undertaken. Many of you espouse radical changes which would bankrupt this nation at the least, or render it vulnerable to domination by foreign powers, or the large number of people you’ve helped enter it illegally, or both.
Working class Americans don’t want to be demeaned by phony investigations or hate-filled environmental and impeachment threats. Instead, they want Congress to address their concerns about their future safety and well-being, as well as their desire that America remain an English and not a Spanish speaking nation in the years to come, and that it be an American and not a Hispanic governed entity.