Ed, 2008
Carlton, OR
©Stella Kalaw

I've been friends with Eduardo for over 15 years. I was first introduced to him by my brother and my younger sister. They were involved in a theatre production back in high school. When I moved to California, my brother handed me his phone number in Los Angeles. He wanted to make sure I knew someone from the past--someone familiar. And, who could not forget Eduardo? Flamboyant, funny and highly energetic, he was never one to be missed in a crowd.

We hit it off the minute we spoke on the phone. Since then, we called each other regularly. We cracked jokes and ended up laughing uncontrollably until we could not breath. Other times, our conversations were more sober-- we talked about our hopes and dreams and comforted each other when it came to matters of the heart. After school, we still kept in touch though not as often as we used to.

When I saw him again a few weeks ago, we just picked up where we left off. I feel so blessed to have friends who continue to maintain a personal connection in spite of the distance between us. As always, he narrated both real and fictitious stories over the course of the weekend complete with theatrical gestures mixed in with his boisterous laughter. Not only was he entertaining, he was also a gracious host. Before I left, I took his photograph while we were in Carlton.