I met Tuscany in June 2014, at our freshman year orientation. We were in the same O’Group.

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So, lemme tell you- it’s not an exaggeration to say that Tuscany said whatever came to his mind. He also introduced himself as Tickles that summer and the subsequent first semester. He wore a Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends T-Shirt, and it seemed completely in place.

The Tickles thing, the outbursts of whatever was in his head- sure, that made some people shy away from Tuscany, and I could understand why. However, I was ecstatic to be meeting so many new people during orientation, and Tuscany and I even sat together when Charles Swanson spoke to us in Mayer Theater (you ever notice how everything seems so large before you get to know it? Mayer seems so tiny now, as does campus).

Tuscany was very enthusiastic and energetic and so so ready for college it seemed like.

Anyway, I don’t know if Tuscany is usually someone I would have been friends with, but I was just excited for college as he was and so it was a good match in that way. Energy was high.

At the second orientation, which took place the weekend before school actually began, my mom flew down with me. There was an In-N-Out picnic thing on Sunken Gardens which we went to and she got to meet Tuscany then. Still, very very energetic. He actually even cursed in front of my mom, and surprise, she found it funny. Normally, that wouldn’t be the case. But she liked Tuscany immediately, and that honestly says a lot about him.

Throughout the semester, Tuscany was easily identifiable by the things he said, and his continuation of introducing himself as Tickles. And throughout the year, I realized more how much I found Tuscany endearing and appreciated him.

The main basis of why I appreciate Tuscany so much is how at orientation, he didn’t pretend to be anybody else. He was Tuscany, through and through. And that’s who he remained.

As college students, we’re all going through some rough times, and Tuscany is no exception. His personality has changed somewhat as a result of difficulties, and I know he misses who he thinks he used to be. But what’s been constant is how loving Tuscany is. He truly gives his whole heart into what he does and the people he surrounds himself with. So open and so caring.

I spent one of my final nights in Los Angeles with Tuscany, and we picked up food from Lucy’s in Midtown, drove to Boyle Heights, and sat on the roof of my car and ate as we looked out at the city. On top of the roof, Tuscany proved to me that he really is an amazing friend (which I already knew, but this drove it home). He gave me a side hug and said that he thought we’re the kind of friends who’ll be friends for the rest of our lives, even if we went months without speaking, and that we’d always pick up where we left off. That was something that I really needed to hear from someone, and it definitely made me cry. But made me even more appreciative that I’ve got Tuscany in my life.

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Much Love bb, now and forever,

APP.

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