Every day for the last several years I took the same drive to work by leaving the suburbs for the city. The drive from the suburbs was less than spectacular; nothing but rolling farmland of the most dull monotonous earth tone colors with the odd farmhouse dotting the bleak landscape. The road was a simple two lane highway that had ancient telephone posts with drooping low slung wires that would start high atop the post and then swing down only to be snapped up by the next post. With every post passing it was like the ticking of a clock that represented how far one had come and how far one had yet to go.
I then gripped the steering wheel tight in eager anticipation of what was going to happen next. I was about to enter the tunnel of shrieking lights. At about 160 kilometers per hour the hopeless country side disappeared and there was a sharp downturn into a black abyss illuminated by dull tunnel lights. Then the road flattened out and I entered the brilliant spectacle of color and chaos in tunnel. Upon entry one felt as if you were driving into flames of every color imaginable. The side windows of the car blazed with vibrancy. The colors would hit the front of the hood with a splash and swoop towards the windshield growing in violence like a monster ready to swallow me whole. Then the colors hit the bottom of the windshield and took a sharp turn upwards flooding the windshield with screaming colors. Like faces crying for help they vanished from the windshield screen. Then came a brief interval of darkness like someone had snapped off the lights accidentally.
The next wave of colors came like a snake slithering down the roof and then onto the trunk of the car in front of me only to disappear for a second on the pavement before leaping onto my hood again like a wild beast. I tried to differentiate between the colors and their constant merging and swirling of abstract colors and forms that no mind would be brilliant enough to conceive, but the traffic was so tight in a bumper to bumper fashion that if one would even gently tap the breaks there would be a pile up of a hundred cars with many deaths and would cause a traffic jam backing up for kilometers into the countryside.
I then rolled down my windows to let in the blazing colors and that was when I could hear it like I had heard it so many times before. The sound of muffled shrieks from somewhere that echoed around in the tunnel. The shrieks were not fully audible because of the speed at which one was travelling but the muffled shrieks could be heard approaching your car from the distance growing loader and then once they arrived at your side window it was like a pair of invisible hands choked out the sound. But soon the next shriek would be coming down the tunnel.
The entire color spectacle lasted only two minutes. As quickly as it started the sensory overload ended. It took a couple of minutes for one's visual rods and cones to come back to earth and adjust to the grim grey concrete walls of the city.
At work I thought about how I could figure out what the natural cause of the lights and the echo of shrieks were. There was no way one could walk down the tunnel because there was no sidewalk and the tunnel was only opened for rush hour traffic, but there had to be a way to find out. So I decided to risk my life and walk down into the tunnel and carefully straddle the strip of concrete meridian.
I started walking, declining into the mouth of the dark tunnel as headlights cut through me like yellow lasers striping my body. I continued into the darkness and then reached the light. Cars blasted their horns as they saw my strange shadow appearing in their headlights.
I awaited the brilliant array of colors in the tunnel, but at my speed, a walking speed, the colors weren't spectacular at all. The cars headlights illuminated the colored walls of the tunnel which were actually people from the fringes of society. They were isolated from the world behind the glass in the tunnel. They were wearing their bright colors in a cry for help. But every car merely drove by unable to see them and hear their distressing calls. I examined their faces pressed against the glass as they screamed for help and to be saved from there misery in the tunnel. But nobody cared as the cars drove by them admiring the colors in the shrieking tunnel.