A song he liked to listen to during the first year I knew him (1999), Everlast’s “What It’s Like”:
Never listen to that song without remembering him. And its sentiment permeated my life from thereon, now nearly 20 years later.
A tune from the time when we moved just south of Memphis (2001-2002), System of a Down’s “Toxicity”:
From the same band, “Aerials”:
He enjoyed Metallica too.
That was “Nothing Else Matters.”
Metallica’s “The Unforgiven”:
His taste in music left a definite impression on me.
Dwight Yoakam – “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere”:
Dwight Yoakam’s “Suspicious Minds”:
I recall having that one as my ringtone for his phone number after we separated. Though I always preferred Elvis Presley’s original version.
Moby’s “Natural Blues”:
“Streets of Bakersfield” by Buck Owens (this rendition including Dwight Yoakam):
Kid Rock – “Bawitdaba”:
Lastly, Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing”:
A bit of an inside story on that last one. Young love is a funny thing.
Today was his birthday. He would’ve been 37 years old, but instead he died just shy of his 32nd birthday. We never again met in person after late 2002, then later quit speaking altogether for at least 4 years until I finally looked him up on Facebook a few years ago and contacted him. We talked on the phone a few times, maybe 4 times total, over the span of a couple years. Made as much peace as we could with the past. And then Grandma called one day out of the blue to say she heard he may have passed, and sure enough, it was him.
He’s never not been on my mind, though I remain glad that we went our separate ways back when we did. Our young relationship had run its course. But we made a big impact on one another during our time together, as we discussed a bit during our final phone calls. Went through a lot together and changed one another, for better or worse. Every year around this time I always recognize him in my thoughts, wondering what the afterlife must be like, if such a thing exists. Wondering if he truly found a sense of peace. Strange to have outlived him — still doesn’t seem quite real that he’s no longer among the living.
I’m forever grateful that we did talk on the phone and decided to let bygones be bygones, having no way of knowing what the future held in store. Had I waited on calling him, we might never have spoken again, and I’d hate for that to have been the case, considering it really seemed to help in letting old resentments go. Goes to show that we never know when our time is up, so say what ya gotta say now while there’s still time. No guarantees on tomorrow for any of us.
Rest in peace, EHF.