12th January – Or, I should say, whenever it was that I met Pietro. It must have been some ridiculous time, like 2005 or down those years we all wish we could forget. Pietro is my best friend’s boyfriend. They are high-school sweethearts and the proof that happiness does exist (right next to you, but never that close, AH-AH). He is also a human being per-se, that’s just how we met; then I left Rome in 2010 and I think I can locate the explosion of our friendship in those specific years.
Pietro is an incredibly sensitive creature; a brilliant over-thinker. A tender, solitary man. A careful brother, an affectionate friend, a strong boyfriend and a great illustrator.
On the 12th January I send him an email with the script attached, asking for his help to devise an illustration. The email is cold and professional. He is someone I want to attach to the project, not a friend. Not under these circumstances.
28th January – Lunchtime, Thursday. Pietro writes back. He says he drafted this email ten days ago and did not know what to really write. Because, rightfully, he does not have a real answer for me. With his freelance job he does not know whether he can keep up with a deadline and he wishes he could say yes, but doesn’t know. That he is proud I chose him. And hates having to keep me under a question mark. He understands why I have started looking elsewhere.
8th February – It’s 3 in the morning when Pietro writes back; if I understand correctly the ways of gmail, I actually think it is 4am in Rome when he sends the email, and 3am in London when I receive it – 6am, with a coffee, when I actually read it. It is Monday, our illustrator’s deadline.
He says he has finally read the script on Friday. He says he is jealous of the way I write. Of how layered with meanings and symbols the play is. Of how he feels he could not quite capture it to its depth, but he tried.
And yet, he succeeds.
My chest hurts when the printer spits the drawing my best friend has sent me at night-time. The perfect synthesis of a story I could only tell in 50 pages. All the elements combined in the perfect, stylized trait of his pencil. The sweetness and gentleness terribly combined with a sense of anxiety, tragedy and muteness.
My friend. My dear friend Pietro. Who always reads me and always gives out the best version of me. Miles away, we are doing this together. His drawing for my play.
You can find more of Pietro’s work on DeviantArt and ArtStation. He works as concept artist and freelance illustrator. His drawing of Spiderman went as far as creating a rumor that his version was the actual Marvel’s draft of the new Spidey’s costume. I think that’s enough to understand to what level of excellence his work extends to. You can’t be friends with Pietro. He is my friend.