It Gonna Do What It Does
Part One – I Hope You’ve Got A Minute
Okay, my name is James Pegues. We’re in Houston, Texas at 4415 Perry St. Oh, I hope you’ve got a minute. I was born in west Texas. Odessa, matter of fact, and I was raised in Galveston. And then I turned 18 on the bus going to Seattle, WA. Went to Seattle, and it just changed my life.
I’ve made some mistakes in life. Bad choices. And I ended up… in prison. It’s like anything else. You find yourself in a structured environment. You know, you can either play sports, or play domino games, or you can go to education. And I chose education.
That was a time of deep reflection. It was an opportunity for me to… turn back the pages of my life, like a book. And then, you know… see the situation, what part I played in it, and the end result.
Part Two – Don’t Fight It
There was a situation that happened in my life when I was young. It was only me and my older brother, at first. He’s five years older than me. And me and my oldest brother, we used to swim in the ocean every day. We’d be so far out there you couldn’t see nothing but two little dots. Those were our heads. The shore looked like the horizon.
And we were coming in one evening, and we were about, I’d say, about 50 yards apart. All of a sudden, an undertow caught me. And I just remember hollering, “Its got me! Jack! Its got me!”
The last thing I remember is him saying, “Don’t fight it!”
And it took me in a loop, I guess, about 15 feet. And I remember just… laying my head back. And holding my arms out and letting it take me.
Seemed like I was holding my breath for an eternity. And, all of a sudden, my feet hit the bottom. And I remember pushing up, with all the strength I had, and I came to the surface. My brother was looking at me, astounded, because I went down under.
And, all of a sudden, I started back-stroking back into it. Just to see if it was alive. If it was for real. And it did the same thing. I didn’t fight it. Took the breath. Feet hit the bottom. Came up. Looked at my brother. He said, “Come on, now! Let’s go!” And I swam to shore.
Got out of the water, didn’t acknowledge anybody. It was like I was in a trance. And I’ve never been the same, since.
Part Three – This Is Not All
I reflect back on it. Thinking about that, it’s just like life. If you fight it, it’ll drown you. It gonna do what it does. And there’s nobody that can interfere with the process. It’s like caterpillars crawling around on their bellies all of their lives. And then, you see the cocoon. Come back the next day and there’s a butterfly there and he’s flapping his wings. That is that caterpillar. You consider, he was looking at life, crawling on his belly. And now he’s flying, looking at life from a different perspective. Still alive. This is not all.
Part Four – It Has Made A Difference
I did those 9 calendar years. I came up for parole. I had lost my wife. I lost my parents. I have 3 children, but they have children and lives of their own. And me being away for that long a period of time. And I just didn’t want to be a burden on anyone. I can stand on my own two feet, so I went to a half-way house.
Bill Toby called from SEARCH and said I was eligible for housing, if I was interested. And I’m still here, but… in a lot better situation than I was. A lot of people are homeless. And you’ve got a lot of people who are hopeless.
It was a fresh start. And it does give hope. They were definitely a Godsend, and I know that they’ve changed a lot of lives. And it has made a difference, in mine. And I appreciate it.