West Virginia, sometime around 1990. New Years Eve, I think.
We were traveling from DC back to the wholesome and bland center of Wisconsin. The roads were a sheet of ice and rain.
Her Aunt had given her a fur coat, and she was midly mortified. Back in those days she was leaning into a hippie chick granola style, trying to be a vegetarian but not liking vegetables.
She was young, had a four hundred volt smile and I was madly in love. And a decade older, and rather obtuse about what the future held.
We pulled over at the phone booth, amazed that here, in a field miles and miles from nowhere, this relic of the 1960's still stood, and still worked. I took a few photos and we cruised on through the grey icy day, headed home.
She's gone from my life now, with twins and a long time girlfriend and a doctorate on the way. Now I make the granola, and I'm old enough to be somebody's hippie grandmother. Life's funny that way.
But I still miss that high voltage smile, and her friendship, even though we've both moved on. Like most things, it looks better in the rearview mirror. I saw her last summer for the first time in ten years. It made me realize how lucky I am to have the sweetie I do now.