Friday, January 5, 2007

Dodged a bullet?

I'm a news junkie. Ever since 9/11, I can't go 15 minutes without checking CNN or MSNBC to make sure nothing crazy has happened. And it's not just the main Web sites, either. I stay up-to-date on all my former cities' news: Atlanta, Jacksonville and Gainesville.

Yesterday I was doing my daily scan of news sites…ajc.com, jacksonville.com, etc. and I hit firstcoastnews.com. On the front page, there's an article on how Jacksonville has a plethora of sex offenders -- more than anywhere else in the country. I think to myself, "Wow, that's really upsetting." I decide to click on the link, put in my parents' zip code and see just what kind of predators are living in my neighborhood.

As I scrolled through the list, most of the guys definitely fit the predator profile. Shifty eyes, wild, unkempt hair, a skeazy aura, if you will. I must say I was grossed out but not totally surprised at the number of weirdos living back home… I mean, hello, have you been to my town? Just going to the grocery store is a trip back in time… they're called shoes, folks. Get a pair.

I digress. I scrolled down further until I unwittingly paused on one of the grainy mugshots. I read the name. Who is that guy? Why am I stuck on his face? My mind raced back to my first year in the 'Burg. Then it hit me.

I.sort.of.dated.a.crazy.pervert. O.M.G. O.M.G. O.M.G.

Now, I don't want to overexaggerate by saying that I ever truly dated the aforementioned pedophile. From what I can remember, I think we flirted, and he liked me, but he was trouble, so I didn't want to date him. Something fleeting and juvenile to that effect. I probably still have the cheesy (and now that I think about it, a little bit obsessive) love letters he wrote me, which is just outstanding. I have a stack of letters from an infatuated molester. That's just gross. Plus disgusting. With a side of terrifying. With sick on top. Con queso.

Honestly, this dude has been to my house… yes, it was probably 10 years ago, but still. Did I dodge a bullet back then? Perhaps. It's unnerving and yet totally awe-inspiring to think of how close I've come to danger, so many times, and God has unfailingly protected me. Whew.