Everything else had sounded true, so when Ben told me his dad had committed suicide by lighting himself on fire, I believed him.

Ben was 5. Ben’s dad was a garbage man who I guess had had it. Ben, his father, and his mother were outside: Ben’s mother and Ben on the trailer’s steps, Ben’s father leaning against his truck. Ben’s father asks Ben’s mother for a glass of water, and to take Ben inside. Ben’s mother comes back outside about twenty seconds later with the water for Ben’s father and without Ben, and Ben’s father is on fire.

“He didn’t even scream,” Ben whispered.

Ben is in prison now, serving an 8 year sentence. I looked his dad up, and he lives in St. Louis.