Saturday, March 28, 2009
Move Over, Julia Tuttle
My landlord called a few days back and inferring family difficulties, made me an offer he thought I quite possibly would not refuse. He'd knock a few hundred off my astronomical rent if I'd allow him the use of the back room of the house as his office slash getaway.
I politely declined and immediately, made the decision to buy a home.
Which ain't easy when dealing with residency restrictions, delineating areas where one can live when a loved family member is branded with sex offender status.
When finding a property seemingly within the guidelines, hopes are quickly dashed. A quick Google map of the listed property will turn up something exclusionary, like some innocuous parcel of land meeting park status due to the placement of one bench and a tire swing. Or a "licensed day care" pops up which could be more aptly described as a stay-at-home mother slash teacher on maternity leave acting as a babysitter for her returned to work educator colleagues until her short-term medical benefits run out and by the way, I take cash under the table. That sort of day care.
The properties that appear acceptable are located out in the scrub or in areas of town where most families would never dare call home, due to the number of hookers trolling the boulevard or the shimmer of the sun off the used syringes cast about the sidewalk. But I must reframe my viewpoint of the blight, looking beyond the grime to picture urban renewal or community redevelopment because of the constraints encumbered upon me by Florida state and local politicians who scream protect the children. (Of course, it's fine if my children live in these areas, so call me crazy, if I'm not real certain how the same laws are protecting my kids).
Anyway, blessed with the brand--although I've committed absolutely no crime--I phone my local police department (which is ironic in itself) and ask they run a report of calls made within the last three months to help me determine if I dare consider the risk involved in simply scheduling a viewing of the property. In less than ten minutes, the report is emailed and I find myself pondering whether shots fired might have been just a couple of crazy kids shooting off firecrackers.
I think it might be easier to live under a bridge.