Kevin has been gone for more than a month and I’m still not ready to use past tense. I know what will happen. A month, two months, three and before I know it … a year.

Maybe then I can say, “He loved to talk about spirituality.” But right now, no. It’s still “loves.” Because there’s still a dialogue happening.

Today I was craving some “Kevin” time. Some riverfront, iPod zoning where my body language unquestionably says, “Please don’t talk to me. Don’t ask me to take your picture with the Empire State Building backdrop. Don’t try to connect with me in any way, shape or form. I’m not sad or angry. I just want this time for me. It feels more luxurious than the most luscious bubble bath. Let me sink in.”

First it’s all about Christina Aguilera’s voice. I’m on a bench that is built into a tall ledge and it makes for a slanted back on the seat. If I let my head rest on it, I’m looking at blue sky and clouds. Perfect. Planes fly in and out of the white puffs. A helicopter. But mostly it’s about soulful Christina.

Talk to me, Kevin.

I never understood the ‘heavy heart’ phrase, but I feel that more these days. It’s like there’s an energy force that’s casting a pall. But it almost feels like protection. Like a blessed and divine shield. It lets in only what’s necessary. To sustain me. To keep it from being debilitating. Kind of magical, even in its heaviness.

The ledge above my head gives way to a large grassy area where people picnic and read.  I remember a day we sat up there and Kevin marveled at how one hour quickly became three. That’s how it always seemed to be. We knew to set aside large swaths of time where possible because, shit, we had a whole lot of philosophizing to do. Hard to believe anybody could keep up with me on this, let alone leave me in the dust.

But you, you crazy Irishman, you liked indulging in it, too. I still have a phone message you left me in November expressing the desire for a long, relaxing conversation. Nothing better than that. Oh man. We had that nailed.

I’ve got Vertigo cranking now and Bono is going, “I can feel your love teaching me hoooooooow … ”

I realize I’m nodding a little. The lyric reverberates and goes into, “Yea, yea, yea, yea … ” before winding down. It signals an end to this little respite. I have work to do.

It was nice visiting you, Kev.

As I leave the pier there is a father teaching his daughter to ride a two-wheeler. I smile her some encouragement as he yells, “Keep going, keep going …” And she does. She veers a little left and it freaks her out for a moment, but he’s there to help her get back on course.

This makes me so happy.