Let me sum up:
A wonderful, geektastic clerk at our local co-op grocery store passed away suddenly last weekend. Kevin, from Lane #1.
Let me splain:
From the article above: Kevin was a person with whom interacting required one to change their pace, and perhaps eventually, their outlook...It’s Kevin who, in the words of another’s remembrance, taught us to put relationships over transactions.
Kevin was a really cool, quirky dude, with an uncanny ability to remember people's names and co-op member numbers (a little unsettling at first, but a great boon when your brain was tired after a long day). He loved engaging people in conversations about virtually any subject, from astronomy to heavy metal to the silly t-shirts my husband and I often wear. One of my closest friends was booted from his first job as a grocery clerk because he didn’t move the line along quickly enough. I would often think fondly of this friend while interacting with Kevin. And my husband, who typically avoids conversations with strangers, has gradually taken to heading straight for Kevin's lane.
My husband and I are at the co-op together several times a week (last year, when I was living in Des Moines, I used to joke that I was worried Kevin would think we were divorced). I feel very lucky to have enjoyed frequent conversations with Kevin and I have often been touched by his passionate, offbeat, and genuinely kind nature.
I was at the store for the first time since getting the news tonight. The sight of Kevin's lane, temporarily closed down, was really hard. I am both saddened and moved as I think about the lives this guy has touched and how this loss will be felt. Kevin, with his unique and often enigmatic interpersonal style, truly embodied how one human being can reach out and connect with others. Countless others. In one very singular lifetime.