brick by brick : Italy

We were amazed by the amount of walls there were in Italy. I do mean this both literally and figuratively.
Our time in Siena was the longest we stayed anywhere. It makes sense that when I think back on our travels the first image that comes to mind are the walls of this bricked in guarded city.
Similar to finding ourselves lost in Italian streets, B and I found ourselves wandering through old avenues that had defined our friendship for the last 14 years.

Over the last 10 years B and I have spent more time apart then we had together. Our friendship was strong, but it also had not been tested in years. She lives her life as a Chef and I live mine as an artist, she had worked for 60 hours a week for the last few years, I worked for 6 hours a weeks for the last few years. She lived in California while I was in NY and then to Portland and when she finally moved to Portland I lived in the North and she lived in the Southeast. We had been, for many years, apart.

When we were 18 we had plans to save up and back pack Europe for at least 3 months.This summer when B asked what I was doing for September, October and November I had originally insisted on “gardening, harvesting and then eating”. This response was incomparable to “spending it in Europe with you!”
While this was a dream come true there was the reality that we were traveling together, for the first time, for a long time. We would not let this hinder our opportunity.

B and I know more about one another than any other in our lives. For example playing the Never Have I drinking game leaves me scheißhaus because she remembers more than I do about my “vivacious” past and I’m left scrambling for something like “Never have I lived in one place for longer than 5 years” (which questionably makes me want another drink). Despite her knowing my darkest secrets, we had not spent more than a dinner amount of time together since we lived together 2 years prior. I hadn’t seen her since I moved out of Portland 6 months earlier. She knew who I was, but we did not know who each other currently are.

the blue pugilist

It astonishes me the lack of time we spent apart and how much time we spent actively engaged with one another during our travels. It may have been precedented by our first night in Siena when (as we can only assume) I was roofied. After 2 glasses of wine things came up that would have otherwise never been mentioned with such passion and disdain.
That night I slept on the cobble streets among the high brick walls. When I finally arrived back at the hotel the next day we took the time to really unpack where we were and where we wanted to be. Much less belligerently.

sneaky bird

This was the beginning of a new discourse between us. The doors opened and we were able to walk through our walls and meet one another in the streets. Over the next 50 days we tried as gracefully and honestly to build a friendship over the foundation of the one we used to have. It was not always easy, but the relationship was fortified.

journal entry :

09.10.14

“I would rather be dependent on B than any other person in the whole wide world. Its just a feeling that might warrant more Xanax than anticipated.”

all photos by Rubina Martini or B using a La Sardina from Lomography.