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The shirt first came into Patrick's possession in 2003, when his band, the Black Keys, started garnering national attention, including a spot as the musical guest on "Late Night With Conan O' Brien." Tin Huey's guitarist gave it to Patrick hoping he would wear it on the show. Patrick was obsessed with any rock band that ever came out of Akron, Ohio -- from big names like Devo and Chrissie Hynde to little-known acts like Chi-Pig, the Bizarros, and, of course, Tin Huey. Patrick remembers his grandparents always playing their only major label release, "Contents Dislodged During Shipment," on the hi-fi.

But it wasn't simply the band's sound that enchanted Patrick.

" because they were definitive proof that maybe he could do the same.

The night Patrick first appeared on national television, I remember thinking, "I will never forget this moment." Sadly, more than seven years later, I have.

But then, I find it -- a 3-minute, 34-second snippet of the Black Keys performing on "Conan O' Brien," Aug. I know that riff well -- I've heard it, literally, hundreds of times. It fits him perfectly -- hugging his tall, fit frame.

I know when Dan has hit the wrong note, slyly sliding the fuzz into the right one. When the camera finally pans away from Dan singing, I see that Patrick is, in fact, wearing the Tin Huey shirt and I'm ecstatic by this vindication. But my victory is too quickly displaced by a sudden surge of tears that surprise me as they stream down my cheeks. I can tell that I gave him the haircut he is sporting.

We agreed that we were soul mates because we both loved coconut cream pie, salami with mustard, and Camel Lights soft packs.

We made paintings, mixed tapes and fanzines, and planned for a future in which we'd always be doing that: making things together.

He'd then point out that he played too fast and, even though I noticed it too, I'd kiss away his self-criticism and tell him it was just perfect. Just two days earlier, I had left for Warsaw, Poland, on a two-month research trip for a book I was writing.And then he'd say, with a glint of embarrassment in his tired, blue eyes: "Do you mind if I watch it again? It was one of the few times in our relationship that I had done the leaving." And I'd laugh at him and say: "OF COURSE NOT, DUMMY! So, instead, I try to remind myself of who we are now and why it's best that we are over. I always feared that if we were both bouncing around the world for the sake of our careers, we'd never last.When I would shape his bangs, I'd often pause to kiss him on the lips, just before moving to the sides of his head, where I'd thin out the hair that sat over the arms of his glasses.I am certain that he immediately drove home after the taping of the show so that we could watch it together.

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