A few days ago it hit me. Not that I didn't know it was coming, or kept particularly quiet about it. In fact, "My friend Kevin, who died two years ago next January," felt at times like a stock phrase, some unfunny catchphrase to a morbid joke. But I kept using it, because it was mine, I owned that grief and in some perverse way I was proud of the way I was coping.
But at some point this weekend it turned much more immediate. Suddenly January 17th was looming. Suddenly the loss felt more acute, the wound more raw. A veil was drawn and the reality that went before - which seemed so real at the time - now appears dull and faded compared to the biting real reality.
Couldn't you have saved a little bit of it?
The video at the top invokes strong memories of evenings spent walking around Amsterdam together with Kevin, after a few drinks, singing Rufus Wainwright songs - badly and loudly. One time as we turned onto the Zeedijk arm in arm, singing this particular song, we practically ran in to a couple of old-fashioned bewhiskered Amsterdam cops who told us to tone it down. I don't think we stopped laughing all the way home.
At the time I hadn't experienced any real loss or heartbreak. Only now do I know what the song is about.
With the reins to the world, gripping a smoke
Vaguely missing link
But having said all that, I'm pretty content most of the time. I just need a little more time to myself than usual and I'll get through this okay. So don't worry about me, I'm not sad, I'm just grieving.
Because I'm coming back home tomorrow
To 14th Street where I won't hurry
And where I'll learn how to save, not just borrow
And there'll be rainbows and we will finally know...