Joy, Arson, and Saturday Night

Her name was Joy, and I thought I could love her.


Joy was beautiful, fierce, independent, smart, and tragic.  In part her beauty was the result of tragedy; there was a profound sadness to her that made her so much more desirable.  One was drawn to both her body and by empathy.  She had been living alone since she was 15 or 16, both her parents died in a car accident while traveling in Africa.  She was independently wealthy.

One Saturday night in April, a rainy night, I went to Josh and Johns, and ice cream store in downtown Colorado Springs, to meet Joy and a group of our friends for a simple night out.  There were about 6-7 of us total, mutual friends all.  I was struck down that night, Joy was with another boy.

I didn’t stay long.  Feeling rejected,  I walked home alone.  The rain had stopped, but the streets were still wet.  It was about a mile back to my apartment.  Half way home, I cop car pulled up next to me.

Brian Arnold-fire

Two policemen got out.  They walked towards me aggressively.  They opened the back door and pushed me in.  What’s going I asked. With anger, unapologetically, one of them said, A fire was started tonight, and you fit the description of the young man we are looking for. The police cruiser pulled away, heading south down Cache La Poudre Avenue.

After about 10 minutes, the two cops in the car exchanged a conversation on the radio I couldn’t understand.  The cruiser pulled over.  Get out, they said.  What?, I responded.  Get Out!.  I did.  The car pulled away.  They took me about 20-30 minutes out of my way.  I walked home, feeling more angry, rejected, and misunderstood.


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