In my past life, back when I was Japanese, I sometimes think that I must have died in a fire. Needless to say, there have been countless opportunities for such a fiery death in Tokyo over the past century alone.
I suspect as much because, until I was about 10 years old, I was absolutely petrified of flames. And the grown-ups could not pinpoint any particular reason for my oversensitivity, saving the possibility that I overheard too many horrible newscasts related to accidental fires as a child. And it wasn't just fire that set me off, it was anything that signified it: the sound of sirens made me run and hold my ears, and I cried during the fire drills at school when we had to stand outside in lines.
This seems pretty funny to me in retrospect, if only because five or so years later, upon entering high school, there was a brief period before the drugs, alcohol and eating disorders during which I dealt with my problems by setting things on fire. During that time, I couldn't wait for my parents to leave the house so that I could sit in my room and burn things. My 'Beavis' phase lasted until the night I almost set my house on fire. Then, upon the realization that I couldn't control this substance after all, I lost interest.
Fast forward ten years, and my first instinct upon witnessing a burning building in Hamamatsucho last Friday, was to take out my camera. What can I say, snapping pictures provides me with the terrific illusion that I may have some form of control over my environment.
These pictures are not particularly good, as I was just passing by on the way to work and couldn't get close to the scene, but that is not really the point. If you are interested in better pictures, click here.
Thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt in this incident.
Also, pictures of people taking pictures:
Who knows, I may not be the only control freak around here.