On his birthday or Christmas, Andrew would often request a mix CD. Sometimes he would give me a list of specific songs. For the most part we shared a love for the same kind of music. I could usually predict what he would like.
Andrew also introduced me to some obscure bands and singers. He was always up on the latest thing and knew what kind of sound I would like. Whenever these bands come out with new albums, I listen with him in mind.
A few days before he died, Andrew stopped by our house and I remember discussing a particular new song with him. I asked him if he'd seen the video and he hadn't but he liked what he'd heard.
In the days after his death, I worked on a presentation of pictures and videos from his life. We decided to use his brand new laptop to set up and run the slideshow. I opened up his media player to get started, and there was the last song he had listened to. The one we'd discussed together.
Yesterday I fell in love with a song from R.E.M.'s farewell album. Just a sad, sweet, somewhat vacuous song about making the most of life.
Listening to it today, as I drove to meet a friend, it struck me why. I knew Andrew would love it too. Exactly his type of song. No one else would quite understand why I turned up the volume, pressing play over and over, the bittersweet breaking my heart.