A week or two before he died, Jason was arrested for stabbing a man with a knife. The news report (which I can read online whenever I want, as well as his obituary) makes it sound like he was out of his mind: gesturing towards a pool of blood on the ground, the police officer asked who was cut, and finally Jason admitted "someone might have gotten cut." "When questioned further about the incident," he pulled a bloody knife from his pocket.
At the funeral, his younger brother told me that they only got half the story. The guy he stabbed tried to run Jason over in his car. Jason said he didn't want a fight. The man got out of the car, and his daughter yelled from the backseat, "He has a gun!"
A couple nights ago, Brian was watching Cops while I marked up a manuscript, and I had to leave the room. It reminded me too much of Jason. Not because he was always getting arrested, but because there's no nuance. The cops are good, right. Everyone they arrest is bad, wrong. I find myself sympathizing too much with criminals.
After his arrest, someone in his family must have paid his $5,000 bond. Someone paid for all the flowers at the funeral, the casket, the marble slab they buried him under at the top of a hill.