To lose someone is to be condemned to a lifelong series of bitter firsts.

The first couple of friends you didn’t see getting married. The first World Cup or Super Bowl, the first new Nintendo console, new Zelda, new Mario. The first borderline fascist authoritarian rising to power in your country. Every time I’m seeing, doing, or experiencing something you would, but won’t.

Again I was reminded of a new first today, as I saw The Raconteurs had released a couple of new songs, for the first time in almost 10 years. And, man, are they kick-ass. You’d be so pumped.

I remember when we would sing along to “Many Shades of Black” with full lungs over beers at your house. We were always big Jack White fans, you and I. And now we can’t drink beers, or sing, or even talk about these new songs. Another first.

Maybe because The Raconteurs were such a constant, fixed thing — I mean, they went on hiatus before you and I truly became friends, and now they’re releasing new music years after your death — , I am made acutely aware of the vacuum in which these songs arrived. It’s like suddenly being served banana split without the bananas or the ice cream. It’s weird. These things used to come together.

Isn’t it funny? In a way? I know it isn’t, but I choose to see things in a lighter way whenever I can. It’s the best I can do.

Anyway, brother. Another year goes by, the same as all the other that’ll s̵u̵r̵e̵l̵y̵ probably pass me by in the future, and you’re not here. Better get used to it as best as I can. I know many other firsts are coming. Such is life after death.

The very definition of breadth over depth.

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