Stories of my friends: Kalan

Kalan Lathrop is serious about his knives. He will spend hours researching blades online and he has a collection of (oddly beautiful) sharpening stones, each with its own particular use and complicated story. How he talks about them makes me want to own a set.

He’s serious about his plants, too. I suspect he has secret names for them all, to be honest. I have some starts from his plants that I have not named, but they grow like crazy.

And his tea. He’s extra serious about his tea.

When I first heard about Kalan, he was “the tea guy” who visited my friend Catherine’s yoga studio and shared his brew with her after class.

And now he’s become her partner and my friend.

He’s still serious. But now I get to see a playful side of him. His thrift-store t-shirts, for example, are silly and fun. And he will sometimes secretly race me on his bike — while I’m in my car — and I won’t know until the next day. He’s goofy when he teaches yoga and he likes to play ridiculous card games.

Plus, Kalan introduced me to archery, which I dig.

He’s a loving uncle and brother and he’s the oldest 29-year-old I’ve ever met.

But, I think what I like most about Kalan is that he’s always willing to help. He has, at various times, fixed my bike for me, loaned me his truck, bought my dinner when I forgot my card, sharpened my knives, GIVEN me knives, picked me up when my anxiety wouldn’t let me drive and once saved my life with migraine-curing marijuana.

He does this all without hesitation or expecting anything in return. Although he wishes I would strive to be less contentious, especially around Cat. And while he doesn’t (always) say it out loud, Kalan thinks I should be nicer. To be sure, what I don’t say it out loud is that think he should loosen up some about my contentiousness.

Still, I think he forgives me (mostly) and I totally forgive him (mostly), so I suspect we’ll probably be friends for a long time.

I emailed Kalan these questions and got some perfect answers.

Me: What makes you laugh?

Kalan: My friends. Especially the Cat, The Eagle, the Little Monster, Dirty Rehmus, Double D and the Dirt Boys. They all keep me chuckling. And my fish, they make me laugh too.

Me: What one or two people or events had the greatest impact on your life?

Kalan: My parents. Almost everything I do is an echo of the imprint that my folks have left with me. My mother gave me her appreciation for all forms of life and taught me to be kind and gentle. My father showed me how to be a proper geek, to think for myself and to never stop learning. Together they taught me to appreciate, value and respect the world around me. My parents created and formed the river of my life. This water will continue to flow on to other wonderful people and events because of them.

Me: Good answer. Do you believe in magic?

Kalan: I believe in a person’s ability to manipulate reality (external or internal) in ways that can’t be quantified or explained through our current scientific understanding of the universe. So….. yup, sure do.

Me: What are your future plans?

Kalan: To become a wizard. But if that doesn’t pan out, just a master of a craft.

Me: How do you feel about socks? T-shirts?

Kalan: I prefer bare, naked feet but when the need for socks is present, I love ’em super hard — best thing ever. Until they get wet, then I don’t want anything to do with them. My favorite thing about a t-shirt is taking it off.

Me: Say something nice about yourself.

Kalan: I have a good smile (: