I received this photograph yesterday.
I met Alessandro in the fall of 2012. I was a performer at the Cleveland Comedy Festival, and he was an architecture student from Italy studying abroad in the United States. As fate would have it, we both decided to stay at the newly built Cleveland Hostel in the midst of pursuing our dreams, where I was his roommate who took the top bunk of a wooden bed underneath the heat vent. I'm pretty sure I woke up fully cooked.
Alessandro spoke some English. My best attempt at Italian was pronouncing Super Mario phrases in an atrocious accent that was nothing less than offensive. But as luck would have it, we became friends. In the 3 short days, we shared stories about our hometowns, our families, and our dreams. Despite the language barriers, we joked, we laughed, and we even sang. Alessandro showed me how to make pasta. I gave Alessandro my t-shirt from the comedy festival. We went to a Cleveland Cavaliers exhibition game on the spur of the moment. The funny thing is, I cannot recall anything about the festival, but I still can hear the last thing he said to me when I left for Vancouver.
"Will you remember me, Ed?"
The answer is yes, my dear friend, and I will never forget.