Between Heaven and Hell Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there lived two boys. Although neighbors, who grew up to become lifelong friends, they lived very different lives…with differing moral fiber and stifling addictions at an early age. One boy, who we’ll call RaShad, was addicted to God. Or, rather, he was addicted to God’s message. He went from church to church, soaking up as much understanding of God’s word as he could. When he wasn’t in church, he was either reading the bible or researching biblical topics. With the exception of his neighbor-friend, the only people he associated with were like-minded people who read and discussed the Word, as he did. To everyone he met, he testified about the affect God’s love and presence had on his life…and how blessed he was. Blessed…and highly favored. He wasn’t blessed monetarily, although he never needed anything he didn’t receive. Nor was he blessed with anything that allowed for an advantage in this world. Then, like Jesus, his treasures weren’t stored up in this world. In his study of the Word, RaShad had come to understand that everlasting life required faith, and works but, primarily, it required God’s blessings. You receive His blessings by obeying His will…by respecting His Word…and by doing those things that are pleasing to Him—living the life. The second boy, who we’ll call Richard—Dick for short—was addicted to women. More precisely, he was addicted to a woman’s vagina—*****, punanni (sp), that almighty frontal slit between heavenly thighs. Sex. While Dick didn’t suffer any physical withdrawal symptoms, if he didn’t partake of his addiction on a regular basis—even if he was prone to, he didn’t go without long enough for any symptoms to manifest themselves—he had an overwhelming desire to possess each and every woman he met. Now, I know this isn’t your typical addiction—and many of you may dismiss it as an addiction, all together—but there is a reason why sex therapists are in such high demand. And, no, it’s not just to introduce people to the karma-sutra. Dick was always on the prowl…constantly searching for the next victim of his pulsating sword. (Over the years, that number totaled in the thousands). When RaShad asked (him) why he went from woman to woman, Dick told him (that) he couldn’t stop himself…when he saw a woman, he felt an irresistible urge to have her. However, any woman he approached had to meet certain standards of acceptability. Actually, there were only three standards, once you sift through the bullshyt of his philosophical rhetoric: a bedroom voice, a pleasing personality, and acceptable sanitary habits. She could be big or small. She could be tall, or short, with her stomach protruding beyond the limits of her two-sizes-too-small pants. None of that mattered. If she had a slit, he was on her. Unlike a playa, who looks for the most beautiful girl at whatever spot he frequented, or some other physical attributes that set her apart from the crowd, Dick looked for the one that no one seemed to want…the one who wouldn’t say no. When asked if he had a preference in a woman’s characteristics, his response was resounding and absolute: “NO.” When RaShad insisted that most worldly men want a woman who is pleasing to the eye, Dick dismissed that idea, saying, “Beneath the sheets, under cover of darkness, the only distinctions you’re left with are personality, voice, and scent. Imagination will fill in the blanks…in whatever fashion you desire.” Everyone who knew him, including RaShad, assumed (that) Dick enjoyed his role as lady’s man to the undesirables. But that was a mask…a façade created to appease prying eyes. Deep inside his cold exterior was a warm, (and) gentle heart, begging for a mate—one mate—with whom to share a lifetime. His dream was that she would be strong enough to pull him out of the sesspool of his tattered soul…into a life of love and romance, where a “forever” stance was welcomed…not feared. It wasn’t that Dick was a “not-so-good-looking” type of fellow, who couldn’t snag the occasional “queen-of-hearts,” he was actually quite handsome. He just didn’t have the patience for the game—the chase, the courtship, the baby-if-you-love-me-please—that women put men through before giving up the coochie. Like a crack addict looking for his next fix, Dick needed what he needed, now…not tomorrow, or next week, or promises of times to come. But don’t’ get it twisted. Dick wasn’t one of those jump-on-jump-off kinda lovers, who didn’t know what to do once he was in the saddle. Au contraire! He was well versed in multiple techniques of pleasuring women. And, he was well-equipped for handling his business. In fact, his technique was fast approaching legendary status. As word of his prowess spread, he had more than enough women—beautiful women, married women, all types of women—knocking on his door…begging for a taste of what he had to offer…fueling their own addictions. Nearing the end of his peak years, Dick met a very special someone. She was tall, thick, and very well proportioned. Her mane was radiant and her eyes were like twin oceans resting peacefully within their shores. Not only was she a statuesque beauty, he soon discovered that she was an exceptional lover, capable of holding her own in ways he had never experienced. She was everything he had ever dreamt of…and more. Their courtship was intense. He realized his age would catch up with him, eventually, and he didn’t want to be like so many other old men (out there)…begging young women for a night of excitement, coz he had no one to go home to. When he asked her to marry him, she was shocked that he wanted to give up the lifestyle they both enjoyed but, believing they could maintain that level of intensity between the two of them, she accepted his proposal. A year into their marriage, he had lost the energy associated with being a playa…the intensity required to keep you in the game. Soon afterward, his wife became a snapping, foul-mouth, ***** of a complainer most bored wives develop into. He quickly deduced that she was trying to play him for all she could get. But, instead of divorcing her, and testing the rivers and streams for better fish—he didn’t wanna go back to the sea—he reasoned that God was punishing him for all the women he’d abused (over the years). He decided that he would persevered for as long as it took to get her on the right path…thereby saving himself from damnation through his kindly acts and deeds—he had been paying attention to RaShad. Just as Dick was well equipped to handle his business, RaShad was even better equipped. Every morning, he put on the whole suit of God’s armor…to go forth into the world, fighting satan, the flesh, and everything the world threw at him…trying to get him to flinch in his conviction, to waver in his faith, to bow to something other than his God. But RaShad was entrenched in his addiction…steadfast in his devotion. So, when Dick came to him for advice, RaShad was able to advise him from God’s word…and not his personal opinion. When Dick explained his predicament, RaShad responded in the only way he knew how…with biblical principles. “Although we fall short, due to our sinful flesh,” RaShad said, “once we see the light, and ask God for forgiveness, there’s no need to seek further penance by punishing ourselves…when we can’t grant ourselves absolution by means of our self-inflicted pains. Live righteously from henceforth and God will smile favorably upon you.” For the first time in his life, Richard understood what RaShad was saying…and he vowed to live his life in a way that was pleasing to God. He shed his “Dick” persona and started attending church with RaShad, who became lead minister of his church the following year…his addiction still in tact.