July 18, 2014

I’ve always been fascinated with fire; the way it moves, the way its color changes. Just looking at it is pleasurable to me.

When I was a kid and my parents weren’t around, I used to fill the bathtub with water and put paper ships in it. I’d then grab either a lighter or a matchbox and use it to set fire to the ships and watch it relentlessly take over, turning them yellow and crumpled. I’d then contemplate the fire slowly fading as they sank deep inside the tub. That, by far, was my favorite game to play.

What seemed to be a harmless obsession took a bigger turn today when I set fire to a barn. I’m not totally sure why I did it. I got so caught up in the moment. Me and Kristofer went out for a walk and as we passed by this man’s farm, he told me the story of how his father used to work for him years ago before he quit to start his own business. Before becoming a pool boy, Kris helped him launch and maintain it. A couple of months later, though, a suspicious fire burned their farm to the ground. They immediately suspected the man was behind it because of the altercation that occurred between him and Kris’ father when he decided to resign, but were unfortunately unable to prove it. Part of me felt concerned because they seem like good people, so I put myself in their shoes and wondered what I would do if this had happened to me.

As we wandered around the property, I suddenly jumped over the fence and walked to one of the barns. Kris anxiously urged me to get back out, but I didn’t listen. He came after me to keep me from going any further but I rushed inside one of the barns and locked the door. Kris banged on the door and begged me to get out. I still didn’t listen. It’s one of those moments were determination takes you over, preventing you from thinking things through. There were no animals inside the barn, only a bunch of equipment and hay as well as agricultural storage. I took out my lighter and put a stock pile of straw bales on fire, immediately causing extensive damage. I walked out of the back door, and it wasn’t until me and Kris made it back outside that smoke started coming out of the windows. It was then that he realized what I had done, as the fire roared and flames started to show. He stood there, suspended in disbelief, while I embraced an abstract feeling of revolution as my fascination with fire reached new limits. We both left the scene when the fire became too noticeable, and ran back to the car. Kris maneuvered through an expanse of empty fields as we headed back to my grandparents’ house. When we got there, he dropped me off and drove off without saying a word. I could tell he was angry and scared someone might’ve seen us, and I don’t blame him. However, we both knew what I did brought him some sense of peace and justice. He wanted this to happen, and I made it happen for him. One day, he’ll come around and thank me for it.

The fire made the news as well as the front page of every newspaper. Seeing what I had done go viral somehow felt thrilling to me. I’ve never done something so horrendous before. I feel like it has awakened something in me I never knew existed.

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