Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

                                       Written By: Rashon Leyf 
I’ve heard they’re all special in the eyes of the universal masters; thus, I’ll send this to those I consider to be especially so. And, after all, let’s face it, they all have their freedoms – still, no matter have past dictators, radicals of the political left or right, religious zealots, or radio and television talk show hosts tried to wrest those opportunities to tell an ever-changing world that they’re real, and that they matter, from them. 
Outside today, the most significant of the twelve months nears its ending. But, despite its unusual entrance from March, this year’s installment of April still provided its supplied and usual symbolisms. Now is a new beginning. Now is a chance to start over - but only if we’re really sorry for mistakes we’ve made. And, although we’re told all is warming, April promised us the reality of a cold and bitter winter which might easily last beyond its appropriateness. 
But, in my mind, and probably for a long time (well into May or June) I’ll tell myself it’s still April beginning. And using that prosaic template, I’ll now write these words to a very special man who’s come to us yet once more from his home in the green city. 
My recognition is that yesterday, had we known then what we know today, we might have avoided certain evil. Yet, the plastic component we applied to past mistakes allowed them to show  through when, in momentary comprehensions, their content seemed especially blameful. And, thus, most likely they’ll now remain in our minds no matter if they were forgiven. But, some of life’s travelers say their errors can now be placed in an altered perspective by a new wind just beginning to blow from the left side of morality.  
And a lot of people may not realize what the actual consequences of what they wish for would  be. And such people usually only judge the conduct of others. Their own actions are left without critique. And sometimes such people quickly condemn honest efforts of others, yet have no resolutions to offer for problems they can’t help but note. And, often the small victories such people supposedly achieve, are eventually shown to be but normal byproducts of time passing by.  
And just now, as I’m looking at the list of items Ralph wants me to “touch upon” in this piece, I can see that I’ll probably need to ask him to divide this particular writing into two posts – something I know he dislikes doing. But, I fear there’s just too much to be said here. And, oh yes, I have some of my own “stuff” to share also. 
First of all, Amber and I receive numerous contacts from people who say they’re concerned about us. And for that, we’re humbled. And we thank all those who keep us in their thoughts and prayers.  
But, in reply I must say, “No, Amber and I aren’t the only minority type people living in this city – not by a long shot! Truthfully, the ratio of whites to minorities here is basically the same as anywhere else in this nation, although this city is not like any other in the nation – and again, not by a long shot! And, a number of other blacks and Hispanics were already living here when Amber and I arrived here. And Amber and I made a conscious decision to relocate here. We moved here at the beckon call of Ralph Hawk, who had convinced both of us that his “calling” was indeed based on other realities of earthly life. 
And thus, since no one, including minorities lives what would probably be termed a “normal” 
existence in this city, Amber and I have decided upon this bold approach to life here. We’ve determined that we’ll not allow anyone, regardless of his or her race or political or religious background, to inflict any sort of blame, or condemnation of lifestyle upon us. And we’ll live our lives as we please in this city of strangeness, despite any outside criminal sexual conduct by males, radical feminism by females, domestic and international terrorism, fake news, religious problems which run the gamut from intolerance to careless statements made to the media, illegal immigration problems, bureaucrats and politicians in the nation’s capital who care only about themselves, media and entertainment characters who bend the truth, tell outright lies, and make fools of themselves as they host mid-day and late night television programs on which they demean national leaders and their spouses, and ridiculous probes (conducted at great taxpayer expense) into supposed events which never occurred. 
And Amber and I will never leave this city. And had you ever been so fortunate as to have been asked to relocate here, you’d have made the same commitment. But, one of the sad things I’ve noticed while I’ve been here, is that stories come and go from inside to outside this city, and then also from outside to inside it. And many times I and many others can’t know if the happenings and people spoken of in those tales ever really happened, or ever really existed in the world you and I know as real.  
And so we face the eternal quandary yet again when we confront such anecdotes as the one about the teenager who drove a 1957 Chev, but had to leave it behind, and begin to enjoy a 1967 Airplane when he was forced to relocate near Haight-Ashbury because of draft board harassment. And then we also heard of the young literary woman who hated all men because her dad didn’t want her to move to Manhattan. And of course there was also the one about the guys who supposedly tied a pair of men’s long underwear across a roadway late at night, only to have it become entangled in a school bus’s rear view mirror the next morning.    
And what about the guy who threw a bag of garbage on the lawn of some people who lived a few miles away, only to find it lying on his own lawn the next day? And then of course there was the one about the guy and woman who got caught pleasuring one another in a school broom closet; and, a couple of people even said that man was the same guy whom the cops had pulled over only weeks earlier because he’d been, as they termed it, “playing car tag” with another vehicle which had left the scene just before they’d arrived on it. And, of course, while speaking of sex and cars, there’s also the one about the guy and girl in the back seat of a police car which was being driven by an officer at the time. Someone said they may have been doing things they shouldn’t have been doing as he drove them to the police station.  
But the one that always got me the most, was the one in which the guy who was always bragging about how good his cigarettes were, was hauled out of his home one day and taken down to the municipal court where he was made to testify before a judge. “Okay, tell this court the truth about the complaints we’ve heard about you. Have you been lying to your family, friends, and others?” asked the judge. 
“No, your honor” replied the hapless chap. “Every word I’ve said is true. I only smoke such types of cigarettes which I’ve learned through experience will deliver full rich tobacco flavor to me. And, also, I prefer those brands which feature what I term ‘easy drawing filters’. With such types of filters I needn’t strain myself every time I wish to take a drag. But, I’m still waiting for the development of what I call ‘glowing filters’. With such cigarettes, you know, guys like me, who like to ‘tie one on’ every once in a while, won’t need to worry about lighting the wrong ends of our cigarettes when we leave a bar, and it’s real dark outside.” 
But those stories constitute but a meager few of the many that reach us here in the city. There are many more – many many more! But I can’t repeat any more now. I’ve allotted enough space to such tales already. And yet, I’ve told the ones I’ve always found to be the most fascinating; except for one other which I’ll (hopefully be able to) relate in the second installment of this posting. 
And I know that as a person of color, my thoughts should focus much more upon such places and topics as the enslavement of my ancestors, what happened at the Lorraine Hotel fifty years ago, what’s “going down” in the hood, who’s performing at the Apollo, and many other such topics. And I do often think about those things. But yet, sometimes, I can’t help it, I find myself picturing that young man in San Francisco long ago. And can you see him? He’s placing a new covering across a window through which he often peers and sees people and a city in motion. And he knows those people and that large city (by the bay) are waiting and praying for an end to a worthless war being fought far away. 
And in the past I often asked about that young girl who radically disliked males. “Did she ever make it to Manhattan?” 
And one day someone finally answered that question for me. “Yes,” she said. “But she only stayed there for a brief while. She didn’t like New York. It wasn’t what she thought it would be.” 
“Where is she now? And what’s she doing now?” I asked then.  
“I heard she’s moved to the capital of France. And now she lives with two other females not far from Tour Eiffel.” 
But see, such are the mind wanderings which occur to some of us here in this city when we receive a rare visit from that so-called “man from the green city”. And while he was still here, I asked him, “Man from the green city, why don’t you relocate here, and live with us in this city?” 
“I’m not worthy to live among people such as you” he replied. But then he also said, “But you know, someone told me that the man from the blue city might move here soon.” 
I’ve always believed that there’s only so much melding that can be done in a melding pot. So, instead of subjecting many mortals to pot, and extreme racial blending, maybe the leaders of our times should stress that all mortals should try to live out their lives in the nations in which they were born. And, also, it might be likewise constructive if we could hold on to the greatest of the legal differences between respective races. 
And when I look out the back window, and notice quietude, that’s when I’m happy! And I’m especially joyous when it’s that month which, by its very nature offers all men and women a chance to start over once again. Yes, obliging month, you who begin with a day dedicated to fools, you’re inclusive message is anything but foolish. 
And, on this day of the calendar’s fourth month, I want to express my sincere basic thanks to all such citizens of The United States Of America who, by one legal means or another (employment in either the private or public sectors, or in group or self-employment situations, or in retirement, or as investors, etc.) are supplying themselves with what they need to survive. But I also have words of encouragement for those who are truthfully working toward the goal of that previous sentence. And, I especially honor those who, while they support themselves, also strive to better life for others in the American states. 
And recently my friends Renni Maes and F. John Surells were married in a very nice white wedding. And since then, of course everyone here in our city has been asking when Amber and I will likewise “tie the knot”. The answer:  Soon, but ours will be a very nice non-white wedding. 
And my friends, if I’ve never said or written this to you before, hear or read it now:  We who live in this city are especially charged to both watch for, and comment upon possible mistakes and evils which we may note surfacing in societies outside our guarded existence! And in that vein then, and without any further discussion on my part (and without any further discussion simply because I have so much else to say in this piece and can’t allot any more words to this subject), “Woe to the Christian religion when its greatest ambassador tells an unknowing world that Lucifer’s domain does not really exist! And if Lucifer’s domain doesn’t really exist, are we to infer then that he also is only a myth? The Christian Bible, though presented with differing amounts of “books” by various Christian denominations, does contain many references to hell and Lucifer (or Satan as he’s more often called). And it also often warns Christians of the deviousness of Satan and his subordinate angels (or devils as they’ve been referred to since their “falling out with God”). 
And if there is no hell, and no Lucifer to provide some sort of punishment to those who, without ever expressing sincere remorse for doing so, continue to practice great evil, then what else is there but temporal courts to chastise such types? And what if evildoers die in the commission of great evil, or before the date a temporal court was to have sentenced them for their crimes? And be honest, don’t you believe that the lack of any fear of what might befall one in an afterlife could serve as a motivation for one to commit heinous temporal acts?  
And I’d ask you also to think upon probably the greatest (and worst) example of such a person I’ve just now been alluding to. What about Adolf Hitler? He committed suicide before facing any court. And, in the absence of any hell, are we to believe then that the person who’s usually considered the most diabolical of all time simply “faded away” and was never held accountable for what he’d done? 
I’m a man who has certain personal initiatives, but yet, I’m probably more of a reactor to the reported actions (real or fake) of others. And thus I guess I’m only asking for common sense in regard to the so-called “gun debate” of recent times. And I’m recognizing that certain guns should be outlawed, and that measures must be taken to keep guns away from the mentally ill. But, I’m admitting that the second part of the previous sentence will be difficult to achieve. And, while I’m sympathizing with the victims of gun violence, I’m also understanding that just like alcohol and illegal drugs which once were, and currently still are banned from public ownership, guns will never fade away from the reality of everyday life in the U.S.A. 
Oh, but the strangeness of the city I live in overwhelms my being every moment of every day. And the masters of literature, about whom, and to whom I’ll speak in what I’m assuming will be the second part of this piece, continue to organize my existence here, while they simultaneously grant new freedoms to all (including myself) users of creative words. 
And the last thing I asked the man from the green city before his departure was “Is life improving in the green city?”  
And he answered, “Oh, it basically stays the same, except perhaps that some say it’s real existence and significance are at this time still untitled. Yet, personally, I’m always trying to be good; but I guess human robots and football personnel are the real heroes near the Fox River.” 

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