Yesterday Wildcat Video and the Dawson Creek Diner were consumed by a fire. Today the photos and videos are rampant. I could easily put a link to any one of several youtube videos showing the fire. I’ve looked at a couple but the only question that keeps prodding me is ‘Why do we watch?’
Many years ago I watched my home burn to the ground as I stood and watched. The second time I lost my home to fire I wasn’t there, couldn’t watch, and sometimes I think it was better that way.
Why do we watch? Is it the awe at the terrifying power of the flames, is it some strange form of thrill seeking? Obviously those in charge of putting the fire out or keeping their nearby homes or businesses safe have a bona fide reason to keep an eye on a fire. But why do people with no vested interest watch? What do we expect to see? I guess we’ve been watching fires for millennia and the fascination may be a part of our psyche, our human make up.
Why do we watch? I just don’t know. I only know that after you lose a home or your business to fire nothing is ever the same again. You may rebuild, you may even stop thinking of it as it recedes into ancient history in your life, but just catch a glimpse of that black smoke on the horizon and you feel that twist in your gut. You know that smoke. You know that someone will feel the way you felt that day. I am so sorry for the loss to our local business owners and I hope they can put this behind them and start anew. I will be there as soon as the door opens, returning my rented videos.