Jimmy and I were watching Cincy playing the Jets. We were over his apt. He lives on the third floor of Cellofane Towers on 4th in the city by the Ohio River. Jimmy says, their coach is fat. The NFL ought to outlaw that kind of thing. I said, sure. Jimmy kept at it, I mean, fat athletes and their coaches aren’t what America is about. We all should stay slim, not chew tobacco, or smoke, or drink booze or play around with women and their suggestive bodies. I took a chance and replied, maybe you ought to run for office. For a sec, Jimmy said nothing, then he yelled, well, listen Dan, I remember meeting this tackle who played for the Browns when the Browns were a damn good team and I was living in Eastlake near Cleveland. He was at a Lujan’s eating breakfast, and he was smoking Camels as he was downing his three eggs over easy and sausages and home fries. I came right up to him and told him he was wrong. He said, get away from me little boy. Man, that really ticked me off. I was ready to hit him and his slutty girl friend. But I didn’t. You know why? Of course, I asked Jimmy what held him back. He said, my religion. I’ve always been religious.
That part of the conversation shocked me. I didn’t know what to say. Here is my best friend telling me he was religious. I did not know that. I had know Jimmy for ten years. He never told me he went to church. So, I quietly asked him, where do you go to church? Jimmy said, yeah, I have come to Christ. I go to the Richmond Baptist Temple just a few miles away. I don’t miss a Sunday. Wow, I said. How did you get involved with God? Jimmy told me He came to me and made me go to church. He has provided a holy spirit to guide me in my every day life. He has been very nice to me, and let me be who I am. He is going to provide a wife for me. And kids. And plenty of money to live a righteous life. Yeah, God is going to be good to me. I love Him. I have always been with Him. Now, it is my second coming, and I am really with Him. Totally.
My mouth was open. I knew for a fact that Jimmy believed in premarital sex. That he had a history of cheating on his income tax. That he was in fights an awful lot and hit many a man in the face plus a few women. I asked, but Jim you have a odd past. You have fucked many women. And you have been mean to many, many men. Jimmy hugged me and said, I believe now in good love. I love you Danny. You are a good man. I said, sure, I know you and I are good friends, and I know I am a good man. Heck, I never have hurt anyone. I do good things all the time. I even open doors for ugly women. I don’t cuss. I have never even gotten a speeding ticket. Jimmy said, yes, he knew I was good, but I hadn’t seen the light yet. But that I will. Again, I was stunned. How did Jimmy Lee Jones know all this stuff. Heck, I didn’t think he could even read that well. How did he know anything about the Bible or being a good man.
Just then, there was a knock at his door. Jimmy opened the door, and here was a pastor with a Bible and everything. I mean, he had a couple other men with him. And they introduced themselves to me. Jimmy got them a cup of coffee. By then Cincinnati was leading the Jets 14-0. The pastor’s name was George Olson. He asked who was winning, and then started talking about Jesus Christ. He asked me if I knew Jesus, and I said no, and he said, you will. He said, God will be with you if you ask for him. All four of the Christian men in that apt. were smiling. I was not smiling, not yet. The three pastors watched the game until halftime, then left. I didn’t know what to say to my friend. Yet, everything seemed right in our relationship. Everything seemed like it was going to be fine in both of our lives. I didn’t understand why all of a sudden I felt comfortable. I felt it was okay even if Cincy didn’t win.