S was a year ahead of me in law school. Officially, we weren't really anything to one another. Unofficially, in my head anyway, she was my go-to person for all of my random "How do I _____" kind of things. I'm not sure how she got stuck with that role, or with me, but I guess she was okay with it, or perhaps she just didn't know how to tell me to bugger off. Either way, it worked out well for me. I'm also not quite sure why I felt comfortable enough to reach out to her with these random requests in the first place. I don't know where that comfort came from, or if it even came from anything. Rather, it almost seems like it was always there. It was the same feeling seeing her for the first time in more than a year today. It was as if we'd met for lunch on the dock just the day or week before, rather than our reality, which included never having met for lunch.
All in all, I don't think I could've asked for much more from my first visit on my first day of my second road trip. Nevermind that my water tasted like a chicken sandwich and that the woman at the table next to us was picking her toe nails. With the right perspective, almost anything can be a great experience, especially in Iowa.
The small town environment was really interesting to me, but A's role in it was also fascinating. She grew up there, her parents still live there, etc. I would assume that just about everybody knew her by the time she left for undergrad, and especially by the time that she went to law school. Now, though, she's even a county attorney and homeowner in that small town, so it felt a bit like I was following around a local celebrity as she showed me the sights. And she had access to everything. "Want to go check out the jail?" she asked me, right before making a call and then making it happen. I would not have been shocked if she could've given me the okay to go for a swim in the town's drinking water supply. So yeah, she had some power, some pull, and some deep roots in that cool little place. As a nomad that exerts influence over absolutely nobody, I really enjoyed being a part of it, if only for one fun evening.