Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tunnel Vision

I think the commutes to New York and to Philadelphia are distinctly different...each has it's own flavor(or flava) or texture...I'll elaborate on that later..but for the moment my favorite part of the NYC commute is definately the Tunnels...Holland or in my case...mostly the Lincoln(16E) .....the sites, the sounds and of course the smells....

although it borders on ridiculous...what seems like 20 lanes of traffic fighting to get into 5 tunnel a cost of 8 bucks a car....I still enjoy the thrill & absurdity of it...OF COURSE I DONT HAVE TO DO IT EVERY DAY......yet.

On a cool yesterday....68...I'll open every window and even the I can experience the full effect as I approach the toll.....breath in every ounce of diesel exhaust from the line of trucks & buses snaking around the inside lane. After I pay the toll, I close the sunroof and begin to jockey for position...and decide if it's worth getting into an accident to prevent someone from cutting in the time I hit the tunnel the AC is up-no need to die of CO poisoning. and then the orderly single file hum of a procession begins...

AND THEN IT STARTS EVERY TIME !....THAT BURNING SMELL...THAT SQUEALING BRAKEY SOUND....and I wonder the entire trip through the tunnel...

Is that my car burning? -are those my brakes squeaking?...should I open the window and risk CO poisoning to check ?


FlaNCer said...


You forgot to mention the crazy loop-like on-ramp that twists you like a retiring snake for the winter into that wild ride into the tunnel. Mr. Toads with the lights on- then off. A teasing glimpse of the Skyline you wish to become a part of, then defy the laws of physics- put three cars in the place of one. Blow your horn- because the sign says so. Flip off the truck, confuse him anyway. He's still smiling at your wackyness- having a good day stuffing a 72,000 pound steel filling into a ceramic tile sausage lining. You're in his way. Keep smiling- he's American.
I groove the vibe. The HUM. It's bumper cars on 10, knowing that everything gets spat out on the other end. The good end. Where you want to be. What you came for. Even the wrecker that collects your detritus will bring your parts out into the bright sunlight of the Greatest city on earth. Or the rain. But does it matter?. Jump off the flat bed and live on.
I've always wanted to walk in there and open every damn one of those doors. Why so many doors? Perhaps they all hold mops and buckets. An "Oh Hell Emergency Plan". Get with it people--- before we wind up on the news. Bucket brigade forms here!!!! Could be- could be.
Or a door into OZ, each door holding a different character- controlling 2,000 tiles a piece. And they argue like condo owners in Florida about the condition of their neighbors tiles. "'Ey over there..You wanna fix that damn tile? Looks like hell!"
The tunnel. Like a worm tube on the ocean floor. Leading to a tropical reef from a lifeless plain.
Can't wait to go back!!!!

Went past 3501 last week on IRD.

Ken Matthews said...

WRITE ON Flancer !

worm tube

tile sausage lining

great stuff !!!

you so nailed the tunnel experience

I've seen some of your other stuff...YOU need to self publish...YOU know how to write

Be well