FONTANA, Calif.-- A man has been arrested and accused of creeping into homes and fondling women's feet--once even using a black pen to color a victim's toenails while she slept.
Police arrested Arnold James Collins, 24, shortly before midnight Monday after a woman reported a man had tried to get through her kitchen window. Collins was paroled a month ago for similar offenses.
Collins was jailed on five counts of burglary. He is suspected in break-ins at 10 or 11 homes during the past month, police said.
"He had been chased several times by husbands and boyfriends, but nobody caught him," Detective David Delair said.
A few windows were broken, but no one was hurt and nothing was stolen.
"He never did anything more than touch, caress and fondle the feet of women," Sgt. Terry Boess said. --Associated Press
Why did a frisson of admiration run through me upon reading of Collins here? Everything in the day's paper of international import--it all suddenly paled when I came upon this little arrest notice. Collins is a kind of hero, I feel. And the bare manner in which his story is told by the press only serves to magnify his universal importance. What do you think?
But: "He's just another pervert with no regard for the law or accepted norms," is what you will probably say.
And yes, I agree with you fully. This is one way to define the hero. Such dumb persistence in pursuing his dreams, such indifferent forward movement into the Realm of the Dream--this is the stuff of the hero. Collins! Where are you just now? In what tedious ward are you suffering?
I can see him kneeling at the foot of some anonymous bed with his black marker and his 7-11 penlight, I can feel his heart pounding there in the darkness. And when the husband or boyfriend wakes up, what does he feel then? I can only imagine it. Does his heart, through fear of being caught, begin to pound yet more desperately during the chase? Or does he rather have trouble suppressing his laughter, his collinesque laughter of giddy triumph, sure as he is that the husband's bare feet are no match for his own old running shoes? This latter is what I imagine. But what do you think?
I'd love to talk with Collins. I wonder if I could find his address. I picture him, again, during his perfunctory appearance before the judge. While his history is being reviewed, he is mournfully considering the shabby yet beautiful high heels of the court stenographer.
Collins calls out for a novella in the Nabokovian mode. A ficitonalized biography. What do you think? Can any of you help me find his address?
(But perhaps hero really isn't the right word here. Perhaps I've let myself get a bit carried away again. Perhaps it has something to do with my having ground this morning's coffee too finely. You know I'm susceptible to such things. Also, I was supposed to keep myself to three cups, as per the resolutions I mentioned to you in my last missive. So maybe hero isn't the word to be used in this case. Maybe…. But let me know what you think….)
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