a day in the life/death

We live next door to a sex offender.  We know this because the state of Texas sent us a postcard in the mail that said as much.   We got the postcard approximately six months after he moved in.  OK, OK, I understand–bureaucracies move like molasses in January.  But at least we got the card.

When you have a child, and you get a card like this, it does a few things.  It immediately stigmatizes the offender.  You know where he lives, and you instinctively avoid contact, because the State has labeled him a “high risk” offender.  No matter what the offender does, he will be known as the “Sex Offender.”  A red dot on a map on a state website. Secondly, it ostracizes him from the community at large.  His pic is on the refrigerator of many, and needless to say, the welcome wagon will not be stopping at his rented apt. to welcome him to Junius Heights.  It also causes him to live “under the radar”  which is exactly what Maurice did.  He tried to lay pretty low, except when he fought with the girlfriend. Then all hell broke loose. 

I don’t know the details, nor do I really care to, but he left in the coroner’s Suburban today.   We watched the whole process unfold.  From the initial arrival of the ambulance, to the onslaught of police officers, to the investigators taking pictures of the death scene, to the medical examiner, to the coroner.  It really looked like a TV show was developing in the 5500 block of Victor. 

I always have my camera with me; sometimes I play the tourist, sometimes I play the artist, sometimes I play the observer.  Today I played the photojournalist.

Adios, Maurice.  It was good not knowing you.


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