In that moment, I was addicted to my job. There is no better feeling than that. The lot of humanity won’t gamble. They are trying to get as comfortable as possible, and the way they do this, is by followin the rules. I was never a good student, because I saw what society was doin. Call it—creative awareness—you know when the standards aren’t your own, and you are reacting to things based on what…exactly? They teach you to walk in a straight line, and society is built in a box. I never wanted that for myself, despite the need to survive. Gettin a job is the worst kind of hell, because there is nowhere to go. Your power expands, and knocks you out, like hittin a golf ball inside a concrete room. There are no open fields—no free ranges—no cowboys, anymore. But I found somethin, as closest to it, on the tired streets at night, when I was wide awake…And now—I was learnin from the best. Malcom was a genuine Southern cowboy—hot dang, I couldn’t wait for our next emergency call!
“This is Bravo—come back.”
“Malcom, they’re at it again.”
“On the overpass?”
“The same one.”
“Okay. This could get dicey, Drake. We’ll need your Southern charm. Are you a bible-reading man?”
“Do I read my bible? Hot dang—yes. It has the answers to all of life’s questions, and it’s 2,000 years old. It’s hidden wisdom. You know why it’s hidden? Nobody reads it—and the few people who do, don’t understand it.”
“The only reason I ask, Drake—is in regards to the people we’re going to be talking to. They are well-versed in the bible.
“What? Did an evangelist have a heart-attack?”
“No—nothing like that. Just, well, maybe, you’ll see. I have a bible in the glove compartment. Pull it out.”
I did. I knew there was somethin about Malcom. He was spirit filled—a genuine believer. We drove-up Saint Hill, and I wondered what I was goin to have to do with the Word of God. I couldn’t claim to be perfect. I enjoyed whiskey at night, and women too, but God uses all kinds—even men of ill-repute—to fulfill his will. That’s in the bible… I was always hopin to come back to the Lord, in a big way! This was my chance.
“Will I have to evangelize?”
“Maybe,” Malcom said.
“Will I be castin-out demons?”
What was with the secrecy? It was like Malcom was waiting to spring a surprise on me. Then I saw the situation. There were two men, standing on opposite sides of the overpass. One, held a bottle, full of liquor. He was screaming verses from the bible, like a drunk Jesus. The other, was calm. He walked with dignity towards the apologist, but there was somethin about ‘im that didn’t sit right with me.
The drunk Jesus began yellin. “Satan! Away from me!”
“Cast yourself down, and your commanding angels will pick you up!”
“Thou shalt not put the Lord your God to the test.”
They were homeless men. Their delusions must’ve come from mental illness, and the forced sermons they had to listen-to on Sundays to get a bowl of soup at the Union Gospel Mission. Jesus was the virtuous one, so I thought it would be safest to talk to him. There was no tellin what Satan might do. He was calm, but there was an undercurrent of strange energy, that made me want to put a whole continent between us.
“Yes, my son?”
Would you let me wash your feet?”
“I still have farther to go, on my journey. I have not yet completed my Father’s work.”
“Just step over here, into my church, and we can talk about your plans for saving the world.”
“They aren’t my plans, but my Father’s plans.”
“Of course—but aren’t you one in-the-same.”
“I suppose so.”
“Have a drink of wine—your last communion—before you die on the cross.”
“Amen.” He took a drink.
Satan was getting closer to our ambulance. He reached into his black robes, brandishing a knife.
Malcom wanted to step on the gas. I could tell. “Should we pick-up Satan?”
“He’s the prince of darkness. Let’s let him walk the streets at night. He’ll be the psychologist’s problem. I’ll give Andrew a call. I’m sure the devil isn’t as bad as some of those parents he’s talked to.”
“Good idea! Now, I really want to talk to Jesus.”
“You know he’s mentally ill, right?”
“Yes—but you never know… what if he really is Jesus?”
Malcom didn’t answer, and I had a drink with the savior of the world.
As we turned onto the free-way, Satan gave me the finger. I guess he was offended, that we didn’t give him a ride.