The sex offender on my street; battling conflicting emotions | Street Jazz

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The sex offender on my street; battling conflicting emotions

Posted By on Sun, Apr 3, 2016 at 12:27 PM

I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I have never belonged to the irrational torches and pitchforks crowd, but the sudden knowledge that a sex offender lives just a block away from us fills me with a sense of uneasiness - both at his presence, and my own feelings on the subject.

It all began when I decided to check on the status of the only man I ever knew who turned out to be a sex offender - of a particularly insidious nature; I wanted to make sure he wasn’t living in the New York City of the Ozarks, found that he was living in Farmington - which is as close as I ever want to be around him again.

But then, because it was a boring morning, I decided to look up the Arkansas sex offender registry, and to my surprise, one of the first names that came up was that of a man who lives just a block away from us on our small street.

He is a what is referred to as a “Level 2” offender, which leads one to wonder just exactly what are “mild” predatory tendencies. Granted, it was back in the 1990s when he was sent up for Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, though the fact that it was with a six year old girl bothers me the most.

On one hand, I have neither the desire nor the inclination to be one those “Peyton Place” cliches, watching neighbors for any sign of sexual or political deviance. And he has paid his debt to society; he went to prison and is free to resume his life.

Nor am I one of those twisted souls who believes the only suitable fate for offenders, once they get out of prison, is to sentence them to a life of living in homeless camps or under bridges. I may be creeped out that he lives on my street, but I am pretty much content to live with my feelings, and deal with them as best I can.

And yet . . .

I know that there are some offenders who don’t, as a general rule, “get better” - sex offenders and domestic abusers being among them. And there are small children in my neighborhood, and every time I see one of them now I think of Comrade Level 2 just up the street. And while he may be getting on in years at this point, when has that stopped anyone?

So I am wrestling my myself today, and soon may need a referee . . .


Today’s Soundtrack

Today’s blog was written with the help of the CD “Play It Again: The Classic Sound of Hollywood.”

Besides enjoying pieces from Vertigo, The Sea Hawk and Casablanca, there is truly something fitting about a blogger writing to the tune of the shower scene murder from Hitchcock’s Psycho . . .

Oh, go on, admit it. It’s true, isn’t it?


On the Air with Shannon Caine

An interview with Shannon Caine, who has written extensively on the fascinating art of the obituary over the years:

"On the Air with Richard S. Drake" celebrates 25 years on the air in 2016.


Quote of the Day

Some trees grow very tall and straight and large in the forest close to each other, but some must stand by themselves or they don't grow at all. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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