100 Years


Warning New Hope Next Left. Seen recently in a cotton mill turned antique store in Monroe, Georgia.

Once a year I type a name into a database and check the status of a person. It is not Facebook or another social media website, it is a database of criminal records. I have to know the status of the person that the character of Rowe from Dweller On The Boundary and Terminal Wake is based. For my own peace of mind I want to know if he is incarcerated or not. Last week was my most recent search.


I have not encountered this person in many years, but there is no safety valve to prevent that from changing. Fate has seen before that we collided and it is possible it could happen again. Consider me dramatic or paranoid if you wish, but you really do not understand how dangerous this person remains.


Curiosity got the better of me when I was writing Dweller On The Boundary and I found a recent photo of him. He looked as dangerous and deadly as he always had. His eyes were very much alive in the photo and all that fear in me of him resurfaced. I hoped his eyes would be dead and that the life in them had been beaten out, but no. He could kill me as easily today and he tried long ago.


I have my suspicions on what made this person into Rowe based on second hand knowledge and rumor. He was not born a criminal or evil, I believe few people are. I know for certain through my own observations of him as a child that he had it difficult in his home life and that likely contributed to what he became. It generates no sympathy in me for him or those other two boys and it does not move me to forgiveness. Some acts are too heinous to be forgiven and I doubt he cares one way or another.


Rowe is currently out of prison and has been for five years. Is he a changed person? No, I would think that he is not and it will be a matter of time before he is convicted again for another crime. He is the repeat offender of repeat offenders. Of the fifteen convictions that are listed in his criminal record, fourteen were for crimes in Paulding County. His most recent conviction was in another county in northwest Georgia.


From those fifteen convictions he has tallied a total number of years sentenced to a perfect one hundred years. One hundred years and fifteen convictions and he walks free in society. One hundred years on worthless paper and in the hollow words of judges. His convictions are for crimes that include violence, theft, burglary, drugs and DUI dating back to 1996. How many other crimes has he committed that he never was arrested and prosecuted? What crimes did he commit as a minor that are sealed away and all he earned was time spent in a youth detention center? I could answer some of that.


In the records it lists his last physical description as six feet five inches high and weighing two hundred pounds. I stand six feet one and weigh one hundred and fifty pounds by contrast. I am no match for him the same as then.


Rowe lives in north Georgia and the other people live in Paulding County. I have been asked many times who Rowe is and who were the other two boys. I am not going to say as it changes nothing. You can read my books and think what you wish, but you did not walk in my white Reeboks or go to Blackout Log. 


I would ask, which of us is the free man?