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(Dedicated to the memory of Robert Ulloa)

Back in October, I was told that one of my closest friends lost his life to COVID-19. This is my eulogy to him.

Since 1992, I’ve had the privilege of knowing my homeboy, Robert. Back then, I didn’t see it … or maybe I couldn’t describe it, but Robert had charisma. And it was the type of charisma that only he had. 

Every time he came around, he was always so hyper and laughy and giggly. I remember how he always had a smile on his face, and I’ll never forget that goofy dance he used to do. Sure, we used to make fun of him for doing that crazy li’l dance, but that was him … that was Robert.

I’ll never forget our times cruising around in his li’l brown Toyota hatchback! I swear we drove all over the place in that car! I don’t know if anyone knows this, but we were involved in two or three accidents. Robert rear-ended someone the first, I can’t remember what happened the second time, and the third time he crashed into an electricity pole.

What I will say about Robert is that he wasn’t a drinker, he didn’t do drugs, and I can count on my first three fingers the times that I’ve seen Robert lose his temper. When he did get mad or upset, those feelings didn’t last long because he wouldn’t hold grudges. That’s not who he was.

I could talk about all the memories I have of Robert … the parties we went to, the girls we met, and the trouble we got into, but I don’t think I have enough paper! I know this is going to sound mean or insensitive, but to me and my family, he will always be “Fat Robert.”

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Chippy Sanchez is a pen name for the writer who is incarcerated in California.