So, I’ve had this thing about me for a while now, my brothers and I have talked about it before, and I thought for a while that it was a kind of… universal human trait that we all shared. And while I’m not sure how universal it may be anymore, I have come somewhat to understand to a greater extent what it is, if not why.
So here’s an example: You’re driving down the road. It’s pretty late at night, and there really aren’t any cars around. In fact, you’re pretty sure that you’re alone as far as you can see. You start looking around you and notice a gigantic lamp post, and you feel the force of the vehicle around you, and you start wondering, What if the two forces met up, what would happen? Sure you know you would crash, and probably die… but I mean… What would actually happen? Then your mind starts playing through these strange scenarios of what you might do to cause this, and what you might imagine would happen were it to happen, until you eventually start double-checking yourself to make sure that you aren’t ACTUALLY turning the wheel to steer you into the light post.
This is what I call the “Mortality Complex,” where you somehow feel a drive to explore the fringes of living… (Okay, this sounds really creepy, and entirely too serious for how I take it, myself.) It’s not necessarily a strong urge, either. In fact, in most cases, it’s the easiest thing in the world to just brush off and ignore! ^_^ So don’t worry about me! *is looking at you, you know who you are* So yeah. This thing happens to people.
But what’s very interesting is how I can see things in Japan and, perhaps because their idea of “safe” is so different that it starts my mind wandering thinking about what “safe” actually means, I find myself more frequently thinking along these lines. See, they have things like, lots of trains that you ride everywhere, and stories of people killing themselves by jumping in front of trains – these spark questions like, “If I were down there, could I actually survive being hit by a train? How fast is fast enough to kill me? Could I perhaps run across the tracks to the neighboring platform? How close to me could a train be when I started running before I couldn’t make it anymore…? I bet you could duck down in the area under the platform and be pretty safe from the train…” and the like.
Also, they have these… roof things. You can just go out and, without much trouble at all, dangle your legs 9 stories above the ground. The windows in the schools don’t have SCREENS, and they open a fair amount, such that anyone wanting to could potentially just open one up and jump!
My friends and I look at things like this and ask ourselves, “Are they ASKING people to kill themselves?!?” Descending the stairs in a game store, they have relatively little blocking you from, say, jumping the 6 stories down unto an active construction side next door, for instance, and we just stopped for a moment and said, “Man… They REALLY make it easy in this country…” And we paused. We were both just kind of feeling the tension of how easy it would be to jump.
Naturally, neither of us DID, I mean, that would be just… STUPID! ^_^ There’s just that… Mortality Complex that makes you think about it for just a little while before you decide to move on.
And I guess the sum of it is this: Japan tries to get people to kill themselves. Who knew? ^_^
Also, now that summer has finally started to hit (80-something temperatures in Fahrenheit), I bemoan even further the lack of double-paned glass in this confounded country! Double-paned glass would allow me to run my air conditioner for a couple hours in the evening, turn it off, go to sleep, and not wake up 4 hours later feeling hot and sticky again! >.< Why, Japan? Why?!? Don’t you know that it saves energy – just like you’re always going on about – and ALSO lets you stay more comfortable? For less money, even!! Come ON, Japan! I love you, but you gotta start being SMART about these things… V__V