The highway in front of me is sleek, devoid of cars, and just curvy enough for my taste. I hit the gas; the petulant purring of my ride as I edge it towards 80 miles per hour is drowned out by the sound of my excitement, the ringing in my ears, as I swiftly rush by the neon signs, the billboards, the overpasses.
With every passing mile, I gradually realize that I’m not in Madison anymore. It could be the warm, balmy air that seeps in through the air conditioning, or the pink Hummer that furtively tries to pass me on the 605, or the FM radio that plays “Hotel California”.
As I switch lanes to avoid a 16-wheeler and merge onto the 91 freeway for my last leg of the journey homeward, I hear a distant explosion in the sky. Glancing towards the noise, I do a double-take: the night sky is filled with bright light, concentric circles of shining points of red, blue, gold, and the entirety of the rainbow. Not only circles, but stars, spiraling rockets, and comets.
It’s the fireworks at Disneyland.
They shine like a beacon, illuminating for the briefest moment the last tinges of wispy clouds hanging about from an earlier shower. The sky shimmers with hints of blue and gold, gradually dissipating into the clear sky, and I know that I’m home.