I’d like to think I will not, because they will always be there. Unfortunately life has taught me that some connections do not hold. So, with apologies for the vagaries and with every effort to remember:
Frank–the art historian; friend; mutual lover of all things baseball and Hemingway; co-conspirator; a Louis among men (don’t ask); occasional part of the debaucherous fray; Italian-American who found home again; my key to Venice; realist; argumentative; funny; sarcastic; creative; Yankee; student and teacher; his hang out is The Lion’s Fountain. Calls me dude or dewey.
Iris–Icelandic youth; stargirl; frustrated but happy; finding her way; sharer of secrets and laughter; spontaneous; courageous; student; worker; friend; in some ways my younger self so therefore confused but willing to continue on until there is clarity or understanding. A beautiful spirit. Most likely to text “stasera”
David–a Gemini in most senses of the sign; dark; self-deprecatingly funny; charming; bella figura (or something like that); confusing; witty; seeks therapy from his cat; teacher; dancer; singer; fantastic rolling of the eyes; Italian. Constantly asks himself and others “what are you thinking?”
Luigi–lover of life and all things unique; conversationalist; shocking; the person most likely to make you stay up all night; dancer; free-spirited; happy; has shared some of the best moments of my life here — on the steps of Santa Croce, watching the sunrise, talking until 10 a.m., the World Cup, the color green and coffee; sweet; disarmingly intimate; entirely sarcastic at times. During the world cup he and Antonio talked for an hour about the history of Greece. Favorite thing to hear him say, “well, of course” or my name.
Gaia, Gianluca, Chicco, Andreas — the Angie’s bartenders and owners. Gaia greets me always with “julia, julia”. She laughs with the best of them. Gianluca reads my mind in terms of what it is I want to drink and is the best bartender I’ve had the pleasure of sipping a cocktail from. He also helps me learn Italian and does not hesitate to dance behind the bar. Killer Chicco in the tight jeans and bold bold attitude and behavior–the teacher of my Italian slang. Andreas–quiet, soulful, when he smiles he means it. They are the binding force behind my Florentine version of Cheers.
Pete–the Canadian. He is already gone but will always be the sharer of the stoop with me (and with Angie the stoop sandwich). A friend. Calming. Will not willingly express what is in his mind. Quiet. Nice. Is greatly missed. “It’s not the age of the car, but the wear on the tires.” or “Time is irrelevant.” I wish that were true.
Angie–of course, but I will see her in the States. But, as an exercise in documenting, she saved my life in front of Santa Maria Novella train station. We spent a small fortune every Saturday at the Osteria dei Benci. Laughter was the norm. Ranting was allowed. Crying in public happens. We told each other more details, dreams, and heartache in the shortest period of time. Chow mouth is an observation about the effects of wine that she coined. Can’t wait to see her in St. Augustine.
Kelly–fun; American turning Italian with an Irish heritage; handles the students; will share a coffee moment and a laugh; the provider of details (like where to eat in Venice which I will forever be indebted to her); a youthful force and vitality that is encouraged and enhanced by her funny boyfriend Ale (almost like Olllie).
So many more, Antonio the Greek-Canadian, Baret the Englishman writer and fellow eccentric, Marco, Sue, Aaron, Lexie, etc. etc. etc.
It’s not the place alone, it’s the people, their stories, their struggles and lives and backgrounds. Life — it should be shared with others. And my life here has been shared with some of the strangest and best. To say that I’ll miss them is an understatement.