I was perusing job openings online when I came upon a position that spoke directly to my background. Great, I thought. Oh wait. No. The position is in Urbandale Iowa. I live in New York City. Thoughts immediately began to tumble around my head. Could I move to the mid West? My personality does well in many European cities but could I swing it in middle America? I Googled “living in Urbandale” and up pops apartments. A two bedroom townhouse rents for a thousand dollars. Washer and dryer hookup, fitness center on the premises, a pool, central AC, and the list goes on. A far cry from the flooding apartment and riff raff neighbors I currently deal with in my East Harlem neighborhood.
Could I really leave it all behind? I’m sitting in front of my Macbook contemplating this fantasy when I click on another link. Registered sex offenders in Urbandale. They have 16 registered offenders. Mhh, interesting. That seems pretty low I guess. Curious, I look up New York City. 686 registered offenders. Wow. To be fair NYC has a population of more than eight million people and Urbandale has a mere forty-two thousand. Not a real comparison.
Curious I scroll down the page and the site lists the name, offense(s), address, age and race of each offender. I didn’t expect to find all that. Folks on there have committed all kinds of heinous acts. My daydream of leaving big city life fades to the stream of faces of men I’ve dated, hung out with or have been pursued by. As I read the names of offenders I think of the weird, sketchy and just plain aggressive men and women I’ve crossed paths with and my city paranoia kicks in. I truly don’t need anymore but it’s too late now I’m scrolling down the list of names imagining the faces of each person.
I’m too impatient to Google past boyfriends or guys I never let it go past a hug with but I promise myself that even before a hug, tea or coffee can ensue more vetting needs to happen with any future meet ups. I then remember the story of a friends daughter whose co-worker was charged with pedophilia with a minor. Then there is the friend of a friend who was raped in her doorway in Brooklyn a few years back.
Oh yeah, they’ll be no night caps happening anytime too soon up in here.