One summer afternoon during my young preschool years, I spent a few hours playing at my friend’s house. Adam Holzworth was the same age as me, and we were probably best friends, as those things go when you are four. Though not in a direct sight line, the Holzworth’s front door was little more than a stone’s throw from my back yard, and on this particular occasion my mother allowed me to walk unaccompanied through the open lot behind our house and across the quiet cul-de-sac to play with Adam. Adam took me right down to his basement to play with his father’s old wheelchair. We took turns rolling around on the unfinished concrete floor, imagining how wonderful it would be to be able to ride on wheels everywhere we went. Soon, we grew tired of our medical plaything and went back upstairs clamoring for lunch. Adam’s mother made us bologna and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise on white bread - a delicacy unheard of in my house - and we sat down to watch Dr. Rick Marshall fend off the other-dimensional, prehistoric terrors in Land of the Lost.
I saw death speed by, doing 80 in a 65.
He passed me heading north on I-71, just south of Columbus, Ohio. I was on my way to New York from Kentucky to help my parents close one chapter and begin another when he approached. Glancing in my rearview mirror, as good drivers do from time to time, I noticed him gaining on me from some distance away. The shape of his vehicle immediately stood out from the others sharing the road. Black as a panther, his nose had the shape of a typical Caddy but carried a whole lot junk in his trunk. From the windshield back, his body shape rose like an elegant turtle shell the color of midnight, high and commanding, yet awkwardly bulky, over the rooftops of the other cars. Passing the other drivers steadily in the left lane, he would soon be upon me.