I met Iva Lou in 8th grade pre-algebra class. We became fast friends after she loaned me her copy of Singularity. She was much smarter than I in the realm of mathematics, but that didn't matter. Her mom worked for the city council. They lived off a country road in North Kansas City. I loved the ribbon roads we'd transverse from one house to the other. She showed me the magical overpass light arch. We stayed friends even when I moved back to Iowa, although sporadically. We hung out again one summer after my first year of college. Just kicking around NKC. Not much to do.
The summer ended almost tragically when we were in a car accident. I was driving, making a left turn. The other driver ran a red light and hit the side of my car, the impact spinning it around several times and up onto a median. Iva was sitting in the passenger's side. She had a huge cup of soda from a gas station between her legs. On impact, the soda exploded over the inside of the car. The first thing I did, after we stopped spinning was to turn off the radio. Then I noticed the liquid all over the interior of the car. I thought it was blood. I looked over at Iva. She was alive and awake. But her seat was crushed. After a few moments, when we counted the minutes on the clock, we spoke. She was somewhat ok (as much as you can be after a major impact that totaled the car). It was soda not blood.
Long story short. We both ended up at the emergency room and were discharged at the end of the night. I left the scene with a small bruise on the interior of my left knee, and the memory of that night emblazoned in my mind.
This is just the tip of the iceberg to this story. It gets much stranger than the common reality I dare write here.
The summer continued. Iva recovered, but our friendship never really did. In the subsequent years we continued sporadic communication, until I moved to San Francisco and we lost contact completely. Sometimes I think of her. Of that night. Of the first day we met. Of our similar and yet different viewpoints and experiences. And I wonder where she is. If she moved to Utah. If she found love and satisfaction and a happy life.