Tuesday, January 5, 2010

an arrest

News outlets are reporting today that a 25-year-old man, Anthony P. Baye, has been arrested in connection with 11 fires that struck this small city Sunday a week ago. Baye was to be arraigned today on two counts of murder and various arson charges. Two people died in one of the fires.

A lot of fear and a lot of sorrow followed in the wake of those fires and those deaths. Northampton is a pink and somewhat complacent community ... not a place wracked by uncertainty or untimely death. Not Iraq. Not Afghanistan. Not all the other places. Northampton 'mourns' volubly for other places. It is not used to being the subject or object of mourning.

And now, on top of the tragedy of death and uncertainty, there is the new tragedy: Twenty-five years old and apparently having made a mistake that cannot be undone or excused or escaped. Was he drunk or drugged or mentally unstable or angry at his girlfriend or looking for attention or ...? None of it matters. Done is done.

I imagine we've all been there ... looking back in smug delight or furious regret.

What a tragedy.

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