A Friendly Block

Even before moving in to my current home a couple years ago, I got the impression that this is a friendly block.Friendly neighborhood

All, or perhaps I should say almost all, of my interactions with the people who live here have been at the least cordial, and usually more than that. I met one of my next door neighbors on the day I moved in, and the neighbor on the other side introduced herself shortly after that.

And the fellow a few doors down—who is often sitting outside—well, we always greet each other, although we don’t know the other one’s name.

That changed a couple weeks ago when Tom introduced himself, and so now when we see each other it’s— 

“Hi, Tom!”

“Hi, JT!”

 —or some variation of that. We’ve even chatted a bit on occasion.

So as I said, it’s a friendly block.

This morning when I checked my mail, there was a flyer inside. I glanced at it without really paying any attention, probably another marketing gimmick, I sure get enough of them.

And then the words “Megan’s Law” caught my eye.

Hmmm, this purports to be from the Pennsylvania State Police. 

It seems to be alerting me to a fellow by the name of Thomas Paisley, who lives— 

Wait a minute. There’s a picture. Several in fact.

Is that—? It can’t be—? Tom?

Well, the photos look like him, although they aren’t especially flattering, could have used better lighting. And the address is— 

OMG, it’s Tom’s address.

What are the alleged infractions? Sex abuse of children and possession of child pornography.

But I’ve been here for two years and he has presumably been here somewhat longer. Why is this just being distributed now? Is it legit?

So what should I do?

I see two possibilities, a) it’s a sick joke or b) it’s legit.

Say it’s a), then I should just ignore it.

But if it’s b) then I should—?

Well, presumably he’s done his time, paid his debt, and is now released from the hoosegow. 

So I still should ignore it.

Which is what I’ll do.

But perhaps keep my eyes wide open just in case… 


I changed Tom’s name because, well, because.

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