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Written By: F. John Surells

I’m sure most would agree that living amongst unanswered questions and unknown reasons doesn’t help one find what society as a whole has determined to be “stable” or “normal” ways of life. Yet, I think I can truthfully say that most of us who live in this city have gladly accepted that reality of fact within our own lives, in exchange for our city’s provided sanctuary from the wickedness of the outside world. But, oh yes, it’s true we have all the usual problems associated with urban life here. And our city has three distinct areas. Our north side is populated mostly by successful and wealthier individuals, while our south side features middle to lower class people living in locations which vary in appearance from the stateliness of the north side to outright slums.
But there is a third area or zone of this city. And it’s an area which we know to be populated by creative type people and artisans. And to those of us who live north or south of it, not much is known about it. And many say that much of the sensational and otherworldly activity that occurs in this city, has its origin there; yet I believe although some emanates from that area, much is also generated elsewhere.
And, it’s always seemed to me that some residents of this city have been trying to establish what they consider to be “normalcy” or “sameness” here. But, in my experience, what’s always appeared to be one undeniable fact concerning our city is that it’s a “testing ground” of sorts for leaders of other realms of existence – realms which either lie unseen to us in this reality of earthly life, or which exist in outer space, or both. And, although I hope this isn’t true, sometimes it seems to me that we who live in this city live within an unreality which is perhaps based upon the reality of others.
Nonetheless, it can be said of us that we never tried to cover up why or how past political leaders were killed. Nor did we stymie the knowledge of how contagious diseases really began. And we always demanded that all elections were carried out legally within our city’s limits. And we never sought to bring back into the limelight what may have been minor indiscretions from long ago in an effort to help ourselves politically. And if indeed we found certain parties guilty of lessor crimes, we didn’t assign sentences upon them which far out weighted what they’d done. But what in my opinion was our greatest achievement was that we never allowed our city to be overrun by so-called migrants who wished to spread hatred, disease, poverty and laziness within our city. And now, having stated what I believe to be matters of fact concerning our city, I’ll proceed to the end of this piece with some examples of bizarreness which I know to be true, because I was involved in them.
Although I always lived mostly amongst commoners, I also sometimes contacted human stars, some of whom were still burning, others who were extinguished, and still others who were simply bucking. And there were quarrels, drunkenness, cursing, and warnings of future futility. And some were informed that they’d need to secure good spouses in the years to come, as those certain ones were reckoned to be too damn lazy and stupid to support themselves. And thus, it seemed those who’d been pre-judged were continually swimming against a tide of demeaning remarks.
And, maybe that’s why many worthless memories remain now. And it appears they live on to supply both laughter and tears. But the laughter seems significant only sometimes, and the tears seem relevant when one remembers all one has heard, seen, and been willingly or unwillingly part of. Yet, today as we sit here, let’s try to have both the sensibility and courage to first realize, and then admit that many others lived then in far more dire straits than we.
But gosh, when we try to sympathize with others, don’t personal skeletons often seek to free themselves from our closets of memories? And don’t those fleshless forms then remind us of how, while we were always wrong, others were always right? And why were some people always automatically the good guys while we were always bad? Oh, but those good ones took note of us. They told us not to worry too much about our futures. They said their democratic party would straighten us out someday.
And they told us leftists would gerrymander voting districts, and illegally stuff ballot boxes to ensure they won future elections. And they also said liberals would have plenty of non-citizens and dead people voting. Plus, they also promised that biased law interpreters would try to remove from the ballot the names of such people whom they feared might defeat their buddies in upcoming elections. And, they said those same interpreters would also institute meaningless lawsuits against certain candidates in an effort to derail the campaigns of those candidates.
But, I suppose not unexpectedly, the final part of this submission leaves me looking backward. And, I’m realizing that today I’m just as helpless as I was when I first understood what helplessness really was, or could be. So, just now, within these words, I’m going to try to, for a brief while, leave behind what I believe are the strictly “reality based” segments of life around me. Yet, yesterday on the news I heard a woman say that our children are the Americans of tomorrow, shouldn’t we pass this referendum and improve their high school? And I also saw a president bragging about all he’s done for America, while in reality what both he and I’d guess the lady asking for more funds have really done is put future Americans in peril of becoming serfs to Hispanic overlords.
So, anyway, don’t set your controls for too much volume! Too much volume has been known to disrupt trips backward. And be sure your mind and briefcase are filled amply with free falling (and rising) words. Words are the great defenders – I think. Yet of course they might also be accusatory. Nevertheless today, here where we can’t be touched by the possibility of intervention by all such types as tell us we’re paranoid, or at least living ill-advisedly, we’re thinking back. And we’re thinking back to lives lived outside the window’s pane, while our pain was often very real, and yes, I suppose also sometimes imagined.
But the time has come now for us to board our so-called magic carpets! And let’s appoint this certain day as a day of reflection! Oh no, don’t tell me you’re disappointed that I wish to not spend it in a hall of mirrors!
But wait! Now there’s an old man trying to stop us. And now he’s trying to thwart our departure by telling us how great he is, and by informing us that he has little tolerance for conservatives. But now he’s tripped over a sandbag! And from one of the carpets someone has yelled toward him and asked him to think about how future Americans will suffer because of all the illegal aliens people such as he have allowed to enter the U.S.! “The United States of America will become the Hispanic states of America because of you” he calls back at the old man.
But now our journey has begun. And now we’ve been flying for some time. And now suddenly we’re landing where two people are obviously lovers. And they tell us they’re mortals from one of the twentieth century’s first seven decades. But they refuse to divulge which one it is. So, out of courteousness we ask if they’d wish to join us on our carpets. “
Oh no,” they reply “you may be headed for one of the future mass murder sites.”
So we fly off then, and somehow separate – each of us with his or her own carpet. And personally, I’ve found myself now on what appears to be a dance floor. And it looks as though I’m back in time! Probably I’m in the 1800’s! And who’s paying for that large orchestra to play those nineteenth century waltzes?
But gosh, I feel so embarrassed now! I’m standing here by myself near a table which has some drinks upon it, and I’m woefully under-dressed. And by under-dressed I don’t mean that I’m nearly naked – instead I’m clad as a motorcyclist might be. I’m completely in black, with a chain connected to my belt and wallet. And now a beautiful young lady is approaching me! She’s clad in a long flowing white dress, as are all the other females here. And I’m standing here looking like a biker. But then I remember that motorcycles probably haven’t been invented yet. And then she walks up to me, and appearing to be oblivious to my out of context clothing asks me “Hi, what’s your name? I’m Countess Von Hindenburg.”
“ Oh, I’m F. John” I replied. And before I could ask her if she knew how I’d come to be there she said “Your last name isn’t Fitzgerald is it?”
“No, you must have me confused with the writer” I said. “I’m F. John not F. Scott.”
And at that moment the orchestra struck up a classical piece which even I, as basically a hater of that sort of music, was familiar with.
“Let’s dance” said the countess.
“I can’t dance to any type of music,” I replied, “but especially not to waltzes.”
“I’ll help you” she said.
And so we walked out on the dance floor. Many other impeccably clad couples were already out there. And somehow I found I could waltz with the countess! But what surprised me more than even that, was that no one on the floor, or indeed in the whole grand ballroom seemed to notice how out of place my attire was!
But then suddenly, as if someone had shut off a light switch, my nineteenth century fantasy was over! And I found myself in some sort of garden. “Are we alone here?” I asked the only other person there with me.
“I think so” he/she said. “We’re out by a farther row where once it was said trees probably wouldn’t grow. But they’re here now, and so are we.”
And I replied “Yes, we’re here now, but I can still see myself, many years ago, already then casting stones against all evil, and trying to reinforce all that was good. And yes, I’m not too boastful or timid to admit that even then I knew the difference between right and wrong, that is, how right and wrong seemed to be defined by society at that time.”
“But aren’t you concerned that every day time’s passage leaves you with less time to live?” asked he/she.
“No, because I’ve learned that eras come and go. Once we needed to (or believed we needed to at least) understand all of life’s necessities and machinations. And we tried to leave no stone unturned. But today our dedication is defensive rather than offensive, although we still do ‘push the envelope’ from time to time if we feel it’s necessary to do so.”
“And when you see yourself as you were long ago, can you figuratively slip back in time to become that person again?” asked the person with me.
“No, but at least in most instances I think I can see now why things were said and done as they were.”
And now that the carpet ride is over, I’m back home, and I’m confronting the dilemma that ours is a world of many societal problems. And I’m realizing now that many of those problems are generated by passed on generational traits, or acquired negatively impacting tendencies. And as I’m pondering that reality of problems, I’m realizing that mental and physical attributes which are rooted in cynicism will never be able to impart any goodness whatsoever.
And thus, today I find myself in constant search of answers to all questions which pertain to negative impacts. And I thought I’d found an important “key to life” sometime ago when I asked someone whom I respect greatly “What in your opinion are really the two main factions whose animosity toward one another fuels many of this world’s problems? Is it a racial matter (one skin color, or ethnic group against another)? Or is it political (the left against the right)? Or is it religious (the five main religions against each other or any of the lesser beliefs)? Or is it economic (the rich against the poor)? And, by the way, all those examples could be juxtaposed. Or is it something else completely?”
And he answered “I believe a large share of mankind’s problems emanates from the diversity between artistic type individuals and the so-called status–quo; with the term status-quo referring to all such non-creative types who wish to live in a world where all mortals are basically the same. And to keep all mortals similar, creativity and intellectualism must be subdued. But if for a moment you’d like to become a status fighter, then join me. And, yes, I’m glad you’ve decided to accompany me. Can you note how our minds seem so much more open now? And now our thoughts are upon places, peoples, and situations far away! So tell me, how is the sun shining on Oahu today? And are wishes currently being granted at the Trevi Fountain? And, who are those literary types from the 1920’s now walking down the Champs-Elysees?”
Well, most likely it’s time now to at least attempt to shut off our thoughts of years gone by. And, I suppose it might also be propitious to once more confront the inevitability that nothing can change what’s occurred in elapsed time, although there are those who attempt to reconfigure bygone events so as to make them seem either much more consistent or inconsistent with what they believe are currently held societal views.

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