I had the good fortune to meet Al3x this year while he was traveling, before this article was published in The Magazine. I heard most of this story over drinks in Berlin.
Had I heard the same kind of story from just about anyone else, I think it would have been pretty uneventful, but to sit across from someone so undeterred by some of life's largest challenges was pretty moving. I imagine the sort of outward displays of not-really-togetherness I'd probably display under similar circumstances, and Al3x's matter-of-fact and direct way of dealing with it was pretty inspirational. It totally comes through in this piece, too.