Sunday, September 27, 2009

David Rambo, "Hugo"

It's no big secret I was once a bit what you might call wild. Wild? Saturday nights drinking, all kinds of drugs, sex I don't half remember with anything on two legs – and I do mean anything. Pretty ugly picture. But I was too drugged up to see it that way.

Sunday mornings my poor mama would drag me out of bed and stick me in the one jacket my daddy left behind when he run off with the divorcee from the next trailer who had three breasts. I'm not making that up, she did: we all seen it.

Well, I'd sit there on them painful wooden benches in church, still half stoned or hung over, my momma clutching me so I wouldn't run and hide. Surrounded by every ripe young baptist female in town. Preacher hollering in the pulpit. Sweat pouring down my backbone. Head pounding. Room spinning – and I just up and vomited right there. Preacher and everbody's yelling, "Praise God! Jesus expelled Satan from deep within this sinner's body right out onto the carpet." But after it happened a few more times, they kicked me out.

I joined the army, turned total alcoholic, and one night in Honolulu paid fifty bucks to have "Jesus wept" tatooed on the right side of my behind.

I got a dishonorable discharge from the army and I just drifted. Motorcycle repair, odd jobs, video production, burglary, dealing drugs and what have you. And over the years I sort of made my way back to Texas.

And one night, sitting at a bar in El Paso, I heard a voice. It sounded like—like what I remember my daddy's voice being like. I hadn't given him a passing thought in twenty years. For all I knew he was long dead. This voice – right here in this ear, so close it tickled a bit – said "How long you going to keep on trying to kill yourself?" I spun around like that to see who was taliking – but the only people in that bar was me, and way down at the other end the bartender, and a yellow-haired transvestite, and a crippled man trying to get free drinks doing tricks with hard boiled eggs and a spoon.

I got sick to my stomach and shot right out of there. And right there, under a streetlight, there was this nice middle-aged sort of man, preaching to a crowd. Was he excited about Christ. Man! He looked right at me, right in the eyes, and he said, "God loves you. He sent his son to die for you. You been running all your life long, but you're not running any more, 'cause I got you. And I'm Christ's rabid dog.

Christ's rabid dog. And he was. He would not let me go. He prayed with me, letting me cry all over him and mess up his nice jacket. We talked all night.

And he found out I could do video production, and he told me that RBC was just getting the network up and running. He said pray and God would provide me with a job.

Saved on a streetcorner and led here. To the Rock... of my salvation.

When I look down from here, I see the devil there, in ice cold, black water, swimming in all that evil from my wild past. Part of me wants to jump in, just for a quick dip. But I I know if I do, I'll never find my way back.

from God's Man In Texas
by David Rambo