Guest Post: Larry Yff talks drug & porn addiction, labels and Christianity saving him

Note from Josh: I’ve been on Larry Yff’s podcast “White, Confused, Black and Christian” a couple times now and we get along very well. I hope you’ll visit the interviews page and check some of the out. Larry wrote a great first-person article about being a Christian addict that he was nice enough to let me share with all of you here today. It’s long, but it’s worth it.

I type a very specific type of intercourse in my Google search.  The anticipation of what my eyes will see next excites me to the point where nothing else matters.  Not time.  Not space.  Not responsibility.  The endless parade of females with short skirts, small bikinis and tight jeans from every culture and age will flash before my eyes.  It’s easy.  When I get bored of one female, my eyes follow pictures on the side of the screen that show more females with sexxxy outfits who are just waiting for me to click on their video so they can sell me a dream.  The stage is set and the show is about to begin and I’m with one of the twins:  powder cocaine or crack cocaine.  Either fellow attendee will do.  And when we all get together, three is never a crowd.    

Hi.  My name is Larry and I am a man.  To be more specific, I am a man who is battling with addictions. If you want me to go a little further, I could say I am a man who loves God that is battling with addictions.  What I no longer am is an addict.  I am a typical person who wants respect and love.  

There are a couple of things I said that need to be looked into further if you want to know what I believe true love and respect are.  The points you need to catch are these:

1.     I am a man, not an addict and;

2.     I love God

The first point is very important.  Allowing any label to stick on you other than the label of “human being” will not let you find love, be loved or give love.  By saying “I am an addict” means that your existence is now not human.  You are now an addict.

When you say you are an addict you are training your brain to accept the fact that you are sub-human. You are programming your brain to believe this thing has you beat and now it owns you.  You are now an addict and an addict is a person who is a slave to something that he or she is having a problem with.

The thing about having a slave mentality is a tricky one.  If you can convince a person, by force or by reason, that he or she is under the rule of a master, you will not need to beat that concept into anyone or provide facts for your rationale ever again.  A person becomes whatever the mind says he is.

Now you have a basic understanding of why I call myself a man and not an addict; so we begin to tie my love of God into this whole scenario.  In order to accomplish this goal, we have to get back to the cocaine and flicks (flicks is a softer, less aggressive, deflective term instead of saying pornographic movies).  

Cocaine to me meant sexual activity.  There is a natural chemical in your brain called dopamine that is released in the body when you eat certain foods or are involved in certain activities.  Sexual activity is one of them.  Sex in all its forms gives you a rush that is unmatched in the realm of man-made substances.  

Sex, and it doesn’t even have to be “good sex”, will make an atheist say “Oh God!”  The mere thought of a sexual experience is enough to make a man pay a female hundreds of dollars in a strip club.  Pornography, escort services, prostitution, strip clubs and the sex slave traffic generate more money each year than the NFL, MLB and the NBA combined grossing more than $80 billion a year.

If you break this number down, you will find me on the list of contributors to that $80 billion in sales.  At this point I would like to point out that there is no need to get into full disclosure of these activities on my part because that would just sidetrack us from the point I was getting at… LOL …now where was I???  Sex.  I love sex.  My problem with sex that fueled my addiction to cocaine was directly tied into the sexual choices I was making in my life.  

I had my oldest son when I was 19 years old.  As of the time of this writing I have 6 kids by 6 different women.  After my first child and relationship didn’t work, I didn’t feel like a man or a dad.  I was a horrible example of both. Even though I was the one who didn’t make the wisest choices, I began to have a pity party and felt like nobody would want to be in a relationship with me.  That’s when I began to settle for a fantasy sex life.  Cocaine numbed the inner pain and gave me that substitute rush of natural dopamine and the side effects of depression, chemical imbalance, shame and guilt.

As a man I still wanted to have a family and I continued to get into relationships and try and start one and would self-sabotage them with my feelings of inadequacy.  Even though I loved the family concept, I allowed negative thoughts to convince me I didn’t deserve a family and in turn it made me revert back to nights of cocaine use to get that “good feeling from porn/sex”.  

The crazy thing about what I was doing is the deeper I got into my addictions the less I was positioning myself as a good man and dad and the broken families and relationships naturally followed.  My views on sex were being played out like the pornos and strippers I watched:  My eyes were searching everywhere, all the time, for another female.  After the buffet of skirts and short-shorts I was used to looking at in strip clubs and pornos, having eyes for one female didn’t appeal to me.  I had trained my brain to constantly search for the next big butt and a smile and my fantasy sex life slowly began to take over and became my sexual reality.    

I began to focus on labels.  And I’m not talking about Polo or Phat Farm.  The labels I wore were “drug addict”, “porn/sex addict”, “violent”, “felon”, “dead-beat dad” and on and on.  I had tried them all on before and even though the fit was custom-tailored, I tried my best to act like they were too tight or too loose…anything but a good fit.  I finally gave in to the advice of some family and friends and began going to meetings.  

The meetings I started going to were the AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) meetings because these were most common and plus you can legally buy alcohol and you could get drunk at bars, clubs and parties and confess that you have a problem and it will be taken fairly lightly.   

When people heard I had to go to NA meetings (Narcotics Anonymous) they looked at me in a different light and wondered what drugs I was on and if I was going to rob them so I could get high.  At these meetings, both AA and NA, you sit in a circle and introduce yourself.  The standard introduction is “Hi. I’m Larry and I’m a drug addict (or an alcoholic)” and everyone says “Hi Larry.”  To me, they were confirming and accepting me as a drug addict.  I hated it and it made me feel depressed but I wasn’t sure why.  

I was a drug addict and a sex/porn addict by definition and action and when I would tell people I was not an addict, they would get mad at me or call me stupid and say I was in denial.  What I was trying to convey was every time I wore the “addict label” it drained the humanity out of me.  The inhumane feeling of any type of addiction is hard; but for me there was nothing that compared to having to admit to being addicted to porn/sex.

Being addicted to alcohol and opening up means you tell everyone you drank to the point where you lost your job; which was understandable because alcohol is a legally sold substance and thus addiction legally and allowably comes with alcoholism.  Being addicted to drugs and opening up is a little more risky because drugs in general and drug use are both illegal and you are charged criminally for both; basically you are admitting that you participate in and are addicted to illegal and criminal activity.  Nothing compared to admitting a porn/sex addiction.  That’s a no-no and the big kahuna of addictions.  

Being addicted to porn/sex and opening up means you have to admit that certain sex acts society thinks should be illegal, sex acts that are literally illegal and sex activity that should never be an issue in the mind of a good man, husband or father excite you on some deep, dark level.  

Keeping to the Christian code though, if I am not going to let any type of addiction hold me back from enjoying life the way Jesus came to show us is possible…I had to confess it, get over it and get on with it (life).  Try and tell people you love Jesus, you are excited and believe in the business plans and visions God has given you…and you get turned on by pretty risqué porn/sex activity (unthinkable by Christian standards for sure), you don’t mind resorting to violence if and when you have to or admitting you are addicted to illegal drugs.  Now try opening up and confessing to all three like I had to do.  

Let me tell you the relief I felt once I did!!!  Man!!!  Once I did, my love and understanding of God’s love and His guidance through Bible verses telling believers to “openly confess your sins to one another and help each other” and “be quick to confess your sins to God and repent and He will remove all traces of it” began to give me strength.  Coincidentally, this was also when the God thing for me kicked into high gear.  

I was in jail one time and as usual I asked for a Bible.  This time proved to be different.  As I was reading I began to feel happy.  Natural dopamine was being released into my body from a weird type of wave that would rush through me every time I discovered the lesson in a parable.

Then I began to come across stories that showed how people were faithful to God and obeyed His natural laws and I wanted that.  The stories were of people who had anger issues, sex issues, were very insecure and were family rejects that God selected to become world leaders.  “If they can do it why can’t I?” I began asking myself.

When I got out of jail I got back into my normal swing of things and would make money and spend it on getting high; shirking my family financial obligations.  But something was different.  The high wasn’t making me feel high anymore.  It was more of a nuisance and was irritating me.  The drug high began to feel like I was bumping my head over and over again and I began to ask the hard, but simple question of “How many times are you going to bump your head, Larry?  Are you gonna keep bumping it till it bust open and you get to see what’s at the center of the Tootsie Pop?”

I began to chase the high I had when I was reading the Bible.  I began to feel like there was more out there and I began to have thoughts about businesses.  I mean real estate development businesses that took over entire cities, a fashion house, hotel development and the list kept growing.

How am I going to get there was the next question.  I started admiring and reading about the Forbes magazine’s richest men on the planet and I watched documentaries about business tycoons.  Something about that felt shallow.  They all contributed their success to hard work, mentors or the values that their parents instilled in them.  Those stories angered me more than anything else because those success stories were built on concepts that I knew weren’t true for many Americans.

The United States was built on a political, social, economic and financial system that was designed to be prejudicial, unequal and unchanging.  The system here in America was stacked against certain groups of people.  This was the reality of life here in this country and maybe the whole world…or so I thought.  

What about all the kids who don’t know their parents?  Since they had no parents to instill values at a young age, does that mean they will miss out on financial success and happiness?  What about the people who grew up without access to business mentors and didn’t have neighbors who were financially stable?  Are they all doomed to a life of being less than because they miss several elements that are said to determine success?

The Bible stories of real life people began to appear on the screen in my brain.  They were ordinary people that decided to follow the natural laws of God and were able to feel a level of love that can’t be described.  They found success and purpose in life.  Some of them wrote songs about the rush of being loved by God.  There were stories of Kings, Queens and Killers who all found success in life by sticking to the laws of God as best as they could.

I now had to understand who this God was before I could commit myself fully because the Bible stated several times that you have to choose to follow only God.  If you choose to follow money or fame or a cute face or anything else, you won’t be able to enjoy life on a level that it was designed to be enjoyed.  Your view on God and life matters.

Going to the beginning was the only sensible option.  The book of Genesis is where I began to read.  The story of how God made the Earth seemed to make sense; but I had to break it down.  Did humans make the Earth?  Nope.  Did humans make the universe and all the galaxies?  Nope.  Does everything on this Earth have natural laws that are built specifically for life on Earth?  Yup.  

If the pull of gravity was a little stronger we wouldn’t be able to walk.  If the Earth was a little farther from the Sun it would freeze and life on Earth couldn’t exist.  If the ozone layer was not in place the air would be too toxic for us to breath.  If trees weren’t here to perform photosynthesis we would not be able to breath.  Plant life has natural remedies for our bodies.  If dirt and its’ minerals didn’t exist plant life would not exist and neither would life on this planet.  The human body needs water or it will die and if the Earth had no water…well, you know what I’m getting at.  The bottom line was there is proof in nature that a being or beings other than humans made this planet and the universe and it wasn’t by chance.

Now, with full acceptance of the story of man and creation as being true according to the Bible, I was confident in placing my belief in God.  This in turn led me to a deeper understanding of the three separate and unequal beings commonly referred to as the entity God:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This in turn led me to understand that God had a wisdom and power that could not be explained.  Period. 

As I continued to read and study the Jesus story, I began to pay close attention.  Jesus is part of this entity called God and constantly talked about His love for His Father and all of His actions showed His loyalty to His Father.  I didn’t and don’t understand how He came from Heaven or where Heaven is or about angels and the devil…but I didn’t have to.  I saw proof of God and His intelligence and love that was unmatched anywhere on this planet yet seen everywhere in nature and I felt a yearning to be loved by Him and to somehow get as personal as I could with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  

Jesus talked about a Kingdom.  He called it the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven.   Most of His messages were about this mysterious Kingdom.  He said if we became citizens of this Kingdom, we would be under the rule of the powerful, wise entity called God.  He said He was going to heaven to see His Father and “anything we asked of Him, based on our belief and love in Him (Jesus), He would ask His Father for and it would be done.”  

I now wanted to find out what kind of ruler was God and what were His rules.  After observing the Laws of this Kingdom, I discovered they came to us naturally and understood how every human being has a value and a purpose.  The desire to love and be loved and to respect and be respected within some form of natural law and order is inside of us.  Here are some examples:

1.     Don’t do anything out of anger.  How many of us did or said things when we were mad and had negative results?  This makes perfect sense.

2.     Respect your parents.  Respect is something that is earned.  This means that parents need to put themselves in the position to receive respect by the child.  A parent doesn’t just get respect because he or she is a parent.  This makes perfect sense.

3.     Two men should not have sex with each other.  God created humans in a specific way for a specific purpose:  Life is created naturally by design when a man puts his seed into a woman and fertilizes her egg.  It’s simple and it makes sense.

4.     You reap what you sow.  Whatever you plant you get.  If you plant apple seeds you get an apple tree.  If you say negative things to your child your child will have a negative self-image.  If you acknowledge God He will acknowledge you.  If you are good with a little bit of money you will be good with lots of money.

5.     Your body is a temple where God lives.  Don’t mess up God’s house.  Don’t mess up your body.  It’s God’s house.  You respect everybody else’s house so you should respect God’s house the same way.

Being a part of this Kingdom sounded like a good thing and I was all in…

Follow the real life side of this story from the beginning:
“White, Confused, Black and Christian – the Autobiography of Larry A. Yff” (Explicit or Base Version)
Learn how to rule your world and enjoy life:  
“Kings, Queens and Killers:  Rules of Engagement”
Understand your purpose in life, gain spiritual wisdom and discover your value:
“Your View Matters:  Personal Development Plan” (Explicit or Base Version)

These books are part of the “Your View Matters” series written by Larry A. Yff and are available on Amazon HERE.

Check out Larry’s Podcast HERE

My First Online Pornography Addiction Education Course Geared Toward Partners is Now Available!!!

I am very psyched to say that after many weeks and probably nearly 100 hours of work, my first online pornography education course is available through Udemy.

It’s called “Pornography Addiction Education for Partners” and for the next THREE Days (Sept. 3 to Sept 6, 2020) it is available for FREE. After that, it goes to $19.99 to the general public, although if the free window is closed, contact me and I’ll give you a coupon to take $5 off and make it $14.99

That’s about 10 minutes at your therapist, ladies. I’m upfront in letting people know I don’t have all the answers, but based on the feedback to my bestselling book “He’s a Porn Addict, Now What?” this should provide a very inexpensive perspective, some basic science and the understanding of self-care among other important highlights.

The course features 10 modules, each with its own video and worksheet that can allow you to personalize the information from the last section and understand how it fits into your life.

For your FREE Trial, click HERE

Excerpt from “Jesus Is Better Than Porn”

Note from Josh: Today I turn over the reins to Hugh Houston, who has written the inspirational and successful book, “Jesus is Better Than Porn.” He has graciously allowed me to excerpt a piece of his book that talks about what a mind that focussed on porn needs to be replaced with. I know Amazon is taking a bit of time getting real books to people these days, but there are also Kindle and Audiobook versions available. A link is at the end of the excerpt.

From Jesus is Better Than Porn by Hugh Houston

There were times when I reasoned that dealing with porn was worse than an addiction to alcohol or cocaine because everywhere I went, my thoughts went with me. I had a library of impure images filed away in my brain.  How could I ever get rid of them?  These obscene thoughts had invaded every corner of my mind.  They were with me when I laid my head on my pillow at night and when I woke up in the morning.  How could I avoid them?  I felt like my brain was a haunted house inhabited by a million ghosts.

Imagine an empty glass.  It’s not really empty, it’s full of air.  Now imagine trying to get all of the air out of the glass.  You might try using a vacuum cleaner, but that probably won’t work. The easiest way to get the air out of the drinking glass is to fill it with something else, like water.  The water goes in and the air goes right out.

That’s what I had to do with my brain.  How could I get rid of all of those obscene thoughts that hounded me day and night?  I had to focus my mind on good things.  As I learned to dwell on healthy thoughts, I began to win the battle against those lusty images that attempted to take control of my mind.

The apostle Paul gives this advice:

“Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)

Motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar urged people to get rid of “stinking thinking”. Well, there is nothing worse than a carnal mind using other people for its own selfish ends.  The best way I know of to push all of those immoral images from my brain is to replace them with thoughts which are pure, true, noble, admirable, and excellent.  Our primary battleground in the war against this plague (or any other undesirable practice), lies in what we decide to think about, what we allow to occupy the space between our ears.

In 1427 Thomas A. Kempis wrote the following in The Imitation of Christ:

“Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.  First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.”

This has certainly been true in my life. When I resist temptations right off the bat, I do just fine. But if I give in just a hair, leave the door ajar just a fraction of an inch, it soon becomes almost impossible not to yield.  My best strategy (really the only strategy that works) is to avoid every impure thought and to stay as far away from the slippery slope as possible.

Impure thoughts cannot be toyed with.  Only a fool tries to see how close he can get to the edge of the slippery slope before sliding down all the way to the bottom.  The best way to head off feelings of lust is to nip them in the bud.  Act quickly, vigorously, and decisively.  Be radical.  It is the only way to ever break free from the compulsive cycle of porn and lust.

If you’d like to learn more about Hugh Houston or order a copy of Jesus is Better than Porn, click here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DMF6ZQS

Always Staying Ahead of the Next Obsession is the New Normal in Recovery

Anybody else feel weird when a repairman is at the house, like you’re not sure just how much of the process you’re supposed to participate in or what proximity you’re supposed to maintain? I’ve got the guy in my mud room right now trying to figure out why my dryer won’t dry and am trying to work from the breakfast bar in my kitchen, but am not getting the regular stuff done, so I figured I’d write an entry to stay busy.

I’ve noticed my mind is trying to find something to glom onto in the last few months and it all seems to have to do with the computer or some kind of communication.

At the end of last year, it was blogging. I was justifying daily entries by saying I was getting more hits than ever and building up my base which could only help me eventually turn the porn addiction writing and educating into a money-making entity, but taking a step back, it was clear that I wasn’t reaching that many people and certainly not very many new people. The reality was, I liked seeing the little bar on the stats page go up and I liked the interaction with people and started to depend on it at much as interaction with people in real life, which I don’t think is healthy.

I’ve been winding down the amount of podcasts I’m doing, too. They are a free means to reach potential readers of my books or people who want to utilize my counseling/advising service, but every one hour podcast you hear probably involves three hours of actual time dedicated to it. I was trying to book 3-5 per week which was taking too much of my time. Thankfully, a couple of very smart people told me that I need to shoot for quality, not quantity. I recognized that I wasn’t really after the attention as I may have been 10 years ago, but just wanted to feel like I was always doing something to push the book. I’ve always confused working smarter with working harder. Balancing those two things is going to be a life-long struggle.

As these things have waned in my life, I found myself introduced to Reddit. First, I found a couple of porn addiction boards, some about addicts and some about partners. I liked being a voice in the conversation, but it was the same conversation over and over and over. Not long after, I was introduced to the “roast” page. I found it hilarious. I’m one of those people who love it when people roast me. I’ve always had a good sense of humor when it came to myself and believe I had a good sense of humor when it came to roasting others. It turns out, I have a gift from God for roasting people. I started to get people up-voting my roasts in the thousands and was told by a few that considering I’d only been on Reddit 10 weeks but had around 50K upvotes, they thought I could be among the fastest in the history of the site to reach a million. This is when I started to take it too seriously. I started finding the “system within the system” realizing that roasting females got more votes and roasting between noon and 4 p.m. EST was best and just overanalyzing the whole thing. I was stopping work mid-project to head over to see if there were new people who needed roasting. So I deactivated my account. It was creatively fun, but again started to show signs of becoming a bit of an obsession — and I didn’t even have a way to explain it away or rationalize it as doing something good.

I started a new diet today because I’ve been eating crap food at all hours and seem to find myself thinking about food more than in the past. My weight isn’t too bad compared to where it’s been in the past before I started a diet, but I’m a good 20-25 pounds more than I should be. My mind should not be a place where Chicken in a Biskit crackers or Cheetos take up any real estate. Hopefully my junk food cravings go away as I lose a few pounds. After all, bikini season is just around the corner.

I guess my point, as I spy the guy starting to reassemble the dryer, is that for recovering addicts like me who can easily turn something new into an obsession, vigilance and analyzing your patterns of behavior is a constant necessity. Yeah, it would be better if I didn’t sucked into something new and want to master it immediately, nor be able to explain why quite often why mastering it was a good thing. But those aren’t the cards I’m playing with and recognize your situation, tendencies, and limitations is a key part of being healthy I’m always learning.

Six Years After Starting Recovery, I Make One of My Biggest Advances Toward Normalcy

I did something I’m actually going to brag about, that I never would have thought I would have done in a million years, but it felt like such a step forward, I’ve been meaning to come here and write about it to show people just how far you move away from mistakes you made and how you don’t need to hide from who you are, no matter what has happened.

As many of you know, my uncle died about a week ago. He was one of those guys who was the glue in any group he was a part of, be it our family, his friends or his professional life. I won’t say the world revolved around him, but if his life was the show Seinfeld, he was the Jerry Seinfeld upon which everything was held together.

He was also an administrator in the school district I attended. Since I’m 43 and he died at 63, most of the teachers I had while he served are still alive and I knew many would attend his wake. I also know he was one of those guys who knew everybody and could theoretically foresee anybody walking through the doors of the funeral parlor, so when it came to his wake I was very nervous.

The people I have around me in life have pretty much all uniformly moved on from my arrest six years and the attention it drew. They’ve seen the new guy I’ve evolved into and life is pretty routine these days. For the first time since my arrest in early 2014, I was looking at seeing people I hadn’t seen since before that all went down.

I’ll be honest with everyone. I took an Ativan. It doesn’t escape me that 10 years ago, I would have had a couple drinks before going to something like this. I took a bunch of Ativan immediately after I was arrested and in the week leading up to going to jail. I also took it for about a month last year when I was going through debilitating anxiety attacks. I have been very cognizant to not take any more than I need. I took one about 30 minutes before leaving and haven’t needed another. I expressed hesitation to my wife, but as she said, “The medicine specifically exists to help you in a moment like this.”

At first I was sheepish. I saw my third-grade teacher, a cousin who had given me the cold shoulder for a while and a guy who was a freelancer at the magazine I owned. They were all friendly exchanges.

I don’t know why I chose them, but about an hour into things, my junior high school principal, who’s got to be 80, give or take (he was my mother’s 9th grade math teacher…and she’s 71) and his wife, who I worked with at the local newspaper for about five years before she retired approached me to express their condolences.

When they asked what I was up to, I explained that I ghostwrite books for people who are usually CEOs, working on self-help programs or simply want an autobiography. And then it hit me. I’m proud of my work with porn addiction. I’m not ashamed of it. It was nothing I set out to do, but it’s a problem and if my mission is to educate the world, I should let the world know what I’m doing.

“If you remember all that stuff that happened to me six years ago, I got my head on straight and now I write books about pornography addiction and try to help people and their families who are struggling with it,” I told them. “There was nothing for me when I wasn’t doing well, so I thought maybe I could make things better for other people. It’s a huge problem out there.”

They told me that they knew I did one book but were glad to hear I just released a second one. They said it seems like pornography is everywhere these days and they were proud of me. Then they each gave me a hug.

In my wildest dreams, since first meeting the man 31 years ago, I never thought that I’d hug my junior high school principal. I also don’t remember him being that short. I’ve grown.

Telling them what I do now was such a feeling of relief and moment of empowerment. I went on to tell probably four more people in the last two hours. I didn’t make it about me, I didn’t quote stats or do my podcast-style preaching. I just mentioned in matter-of-factly. The results were positive across the board.

Six years ago, when this all went down and it was headline news, I was scared to death. I barely left the house. If I went to a restaurant, it was 30 miles away. Over time, I’ve become comfortable being out in public locally and have been surprised just how few interactions I’ve had with people from my former life. I think that my uncle’s wake may have been a huge final step toward whatever level I end up at in being comfortable owning what I did and being open with what I do now, no matter who I’m talking to or where I am.

The last step is going to be the people who I work with. It never comes up, but most of them don’t know my real name. I intentionally hide it from them whenever possible, and when it has to be revealed for payment or tax purposes, I tell them I professionally just go by my first and middle name.

Anyway, my message is really just if you have something that you don’t think you can face, or something you feel shame an embarrassment about, try being open about it. Try with someone who you think will be safe. I mean, realistically, unless my mother dies very soon, I don’t think I’ll ever see my junior high school principal or his wife again. They were safe people, and it felt damn good. Damn good.