So. How many registered sex offenders do YOU know? (UPDATED)
I read Sandra Miller's post, The Path.
You should too. Go. Do it now. I'll still be here.
Sandra's post raised a memory for me. A creepy memory. Creepier now than it felt at the time.
The (40-something) man who lived next door to my brother and I during my last year of High School used to call me after my father died. To talk. I didn't know him. I'd never met him. (There were many trees and at least 35 feet between his property and ours.)
And then one morning, I found a book on the driver's seat of my car. I think maybe a John Grisham novel. Again, I don't remember. But he called me that night and told me he thought I'd enjoy it. So he left it there, in my open car, for me.
Brother and I lived alone that year.
I told the guy next door to stop calling me. Thankfully, he did.
Sandra's post sent me off to do some research.
The map above is my hometown. All of it. (I blurred out the name, obviously.) Each colored square is a currently registered sex offender.
Red square = a sexual offense against children.
- Follow the link, and you can create your own, by state or by zip or by town.
- Click on each square and feel horror unfold.
- Look at the mugshot, the date of birth, the conviction record.
- Wonder what the fuck is wrong with people.
I clicked one square to see the face of one of the "tough girls" who used to threaten to beat me up in High School. She was convicted of molesting a 15-year-old--just a couple of years ago (the site doesn't specify the gender of victims).
I clicked another to discover the face and name of a guy with whom I went all the way through elementary school.
I clicked, and I clicked, and I clicked, and I got sicker, and sicker, and sicker. Some of the conviction records list the victims as young as 7. (Correction: I found one entry in which the victim was 3.)
This number of red squares can't be normal.
This number of red squares has got to be an anomaly.
This number of red squares means I grew up in an exceptionally sick place.
That's what I'm choosing to believe.
Because I can't bear the idea of pulling up neighboring towns and looking at all of their red squares. At least not right now.
A few screenshots of the "red squares," clicked at random. Just for those commenters who seem to think this post is all about the trials of 19-year-old guys with 16-year-old girlfriends.
You tell yourself what you need to believe.