Peter Kim was a good friend. Some would say that there is no higher compliment that can be paid, and I agree. As much as it is difficult to truly relay what being a good friend means, I feel that my last gift to Peter should be to show people how amazing he really was.
I met Peter about 4 years ago. I had just gotten a job at a tax consulting firm that had 4 employees, 3 of which were at the office on a regular basis. On my first day, I was walked into the 2 room office which consisted of a waiting area which shared a wall with the office where Peter and I would meet for the first time. The desk to desk setup meant we were in each other’s periphery constantly. Facebook was heavily featured on both our desktops and it wasn’t uncommon to hear Peter or I singing/rapping to songs late into the night… Peter being much more successful than me of course.
My first impression was that he was very friendly. He immediately called me “hyung” (what Korean males call other close males that are older, literal translation of course being, “big brother”). Those were trying and fun times. We were often working together until the wee hours of the morning putting in 6 to 7 day work weeks racking 12+ hours a day. Taking turns napping and trying to wrap up projects before deadlines hit wasn’t uncommon, just as playing games of StarCraft in between assignments and watching movies to pass the day wasn’t during our off season. Pretty soon we were friends and hanging out at the office would be a pastime for us that we constantly griped about, but secretly enjoyed.
Time passed and the firm grew bigger. We saw each other through break ups, new relationships, new co-workers, stress, happiness; then Peter decided to leave roughly a year and a half into my stay there. At this point, what usually happens is that you go your separate ways. We said our goodbyes and no less than 2 days later I was sitting with him and talking like we were old friends. That was Peter’s charm.
If I am going to be at all honest I will have to say that he was a much better friend to me than I was to him. He was the one that always called me out. He was the one that came over. He was there to lend a helping hand with anything to do with my car (You would not believe the smile this guy had on his face when I joined the Infiniti family a little over a year ago). He was always down to be there for you when you felt the cold sting of reality and the weight of the world was on your shoulders.
As I sit to write this, I can’t help but think in cliches. “He went before his time.” “It was just too soon.” It was before his time and it was too soon. It isn’t hard to see how much he touched everyone around him. Not that he didn’t have his faults, he would be the first to list them for you from A through Z, but he had a good heart and the best of intentions. I won’t say that I was in his inner circle of friends, but damn if he didn’t make me feel like I was every time I met him. I am jealous of those who got to know him better than I did and I wish we all had a little more time.
Peter Kim passed away sometime Thursday night in a tragic accident. Though I do not have any other details, Peter Kim passed away sometime Thursday night in a tragic hit and run. His family would like everyone to know that the perpetrator was caught. I know that LA will be restless for some time to come. The breeze will feel just a little colder and the sun won’t feel quite as warm. The world had so little time to know him and that is the real tragedy here. Peter, you are a friend and a brother and you will forever be missed. My heart and my prayers go out to your family and friends. I miss your laugh and the smile that was always plastered on your face. I miss hanging with you at the pad, just shootin’ the shit and talking about what we would do with our rides. I miss your compassion, your undying loyalty, and your capacity for generosity. Our faith tells us you’re in a better place, check up on us from time to time. Until we meet again, I’ll be singing twice as loud for you homie.
Sidebar: Peter’s final resting place can be found at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills @ 6300 Forest Lawn Drive Los Angeles, CA 90068.