Maurice was a great friend of mine for the past few years. We’ve been through so many things together, that I wanted to write them all down so I would never forget him. He was always like a brother-figure; watching out for me, making sure I was doing well in school, or listening to any problems I might have had. Though I always had kicks of disagreeing in everything he said I knew that his advice or lectures were always right. He was always dependable; I always called him for any car problems that I might have. There wasn’t a time where he didn’t take the time out to help me; even if it meant he had to drive over to my house. He was a genuinely kind-hearted person, which makes is so difficult to accept that he is gone.

 

I miss him so much.

 

Work

-         When I first met him it was thru “2by2”. Yes, we were both “scam artist” but not very good ones. He always wore the same Chinese style black suit, which made him look dangerous to talk to. He approached me one day and asked me what kind of exhaust system I had on my car. “GReddy Evo”, I said, he replied “Everybody wants GReddy” and smiled. That’s when I knew he wasn’t the hardcore, tough looking Asian mafia ring leader I thought he was.

-         We backed out of the “2by2” group, but remained friends. Over the summer, he worked at Best Buy while I started at Donna’s Café as a cook.

-         After working at Donna’s for 2 months, I became close with the staff there. Cooks came and went, and I wanted to make sure that someone hard-working and reliable could take my place as I started college. The first and only person that came to my mind was Maurice.

-         I was excited when Maurice came to work with me at Donna’s. I use to pick on him a lot at work. I would call myself the head chef, and told Maurice that he was my assistant. I use to jokingly boss him around, and try and push my tasks on to him. “Hey Maurice… I’m suppose to cut these veggies… come over here and I’ll cut one to show you… then you can do the rest for me” Maurice just scoffed and laughed at me while he finished up his tasks.

-         The way Donna’s works is no one cook is assigned to any particular task. We all knew what we had to do, so one day Maurice tasks on the task of preparing Garlic Bread for the special. I would always peer over his shoulder to find something I could nag and frustrate him about. We had a whole 15 minute argument about how to prepare it. He thought that freezing the garlic butter sauce and spreading it after it hardens is better… I thought spreading it on while it’s hot was better. I don’t think he ever knew that he was right. I always use his way of making it now, but pass it as my own recipe.

-         He was so bad at making the pizza shells. They use to come out as donuts, rather than pizza shells.

-         I remember one night; Thai, one of the other cooks, was breaking down boxes. He picked up a cardboard box that said “Type R” and held it over his head. “Hey Rob; want to save this so you can put it on your car??” I drive a Honda Civic and for those who aren’t in the Import Scene he was mocking me. I’ve never heard Maurice laugh so hard in my life.

-         I remember we worked together at HFestival one year as water vendors. I was stationed at one of the stands, while he helped deliver water to each station. He worked so hard that he blew his back the next morning and had to call out sick at Donna’s. Thai and I picked on him in the kitchen and teased him that he was weak. Maurice use to get so frustrated about defending his manhood that he would just burst out laughing at himself.  

-         One time he came into Donna's with lottery tickets. He was so excited and confident that he was going to win the big "jackpot". Without asking, he started telling me and probably half the staff working that day that he would split his money with everyone -- a million dollars per person.

-         If the restaurant wasn’t busy, Thai and I use to check out some of the customers. We would try and get Maurice to just… take a glimpse of super hot girl but he would always refuse. “No man! It’s too weird for me to do that! I have a girlfriend!!”

-         It was a lot of fun working with Maurice. We use to talk about anything and everything at work. Girl problems, cars, school... anything that we could think of, we would say. We would joke and laugh about random things and try each others “experimental” recipes. He helped make time go by faster.

-         I remember he worked for 2 weeks straight at Donna’s. He was looking forward to a break, and planned out a whole Sunday to spend with Gin. I had exam on Monday, and I asked if he could switch shifts with me so I could study. Although he reluctantly agreed, I thought about it and realized that it wasn’t fair for him to change his plans because of me. I switched back with him and told him to have fun. Just the thought of his willingness to sacrifice his vacation for a friend shows how great of a guy he was.

-         I came back for the summer to work. It was fun being back at Donna’s but I was a bit upset that they started me on a lower pay that I had. I complained to Maurice and he said not to worry about it, that I’m still getting decent pay and I get to work with him. I still wasn’t convinced and I heard about a job opening at a Law firm in Baltimore that paid a lot more. I still remember the conversation I had with Maurice. He tried so hard to get me to stay at Donna’s. “Man, if you work in Baltimore, you’ll have to worry about parking, food, and gas money… just stay here, you know what you have to do here, you’re working with your friends, and you can eat for free” It was such a tough decision for me and jokingly said, “aw, are you going to miss me if I go?” I thought he would say, “Shut up rob, you’re so stupid”, but instead he replied, “well, to tell you the truth… yea. Thai is a little too crazy for me sometimes, and I have a lot of fun with you”. He made my decision ten times harder, but eventually I still left Donna’s.

-         I think a group of us, were suppose to go out and eat before I left for Taiwan, but for some reason Maurice couldn’t come out. He wanted to take me out and he tried hard to make things work. I can’t really remember what the reason was, but I think it was my fault. I vaguely remember visiting Maurice before at Donna’s leaving for Taiwan to study for the year. I was hoping he could get a 15-20 minute break and eat some food with me, but he said he wasn’t sure if he could leave the kitchen. He told me to order first and he’ll see if he can get off. He made my food, Turkey Burger with regular French fries, but Maurice said he had to prep for dinner so he couldn’t eat with me. I finished my food, and talked to Maurice for a little bit. As I was asking the server for the check, Maurice cut in and told her to charge it on his credit card. He said it was something he wanted to do for me before I left.

-         Once in a while I’d get cravings for Donna’s food. I asked Maurice to smuggle her recipe book out for me, he said alright, but I forgot to ask him for it.

 

Girls

-         He used to swing by and visit my freshman year at College Park. A couple his friends and my friends would hang out, ever so often. He was introduced to Gin and that’s when they hit it off. I was really happy for them.

-         Although he was tied down his new girlfriend, he would always find time for me whenever I was down or having trouble in school. He was always there to listen to me complain about girls, grades, or anything else that was bogging me down.

-         Whenever I had girl problems, Maurice would drive to College Park to take me out. Usually, he would take me and some friends down to a bar in Baltimore and get me wasted. He always knew how to cheer me up.

-         I remember saying to him in the car ride back. "Maurice man, I’m so happy that you are with Gin. She's been hurt so badly in the past and you're such a great person." I think I almost made him cry.

-         I started dating again and I remember that Gin/Maurice went on a double date to the see “Vanilla Sky”. It was a pretty bad movie, but a fun date. We took a couple pictures that day.

-         When Maurice got word that the girl that I was seeing wasn’t working out, he was the first to call me to see if I was okay. He persistently asked me if I was alright, but I kept telling him that I was fine and not to worry about me. He told me to call him if I wanted someone to talk to.

-         I remember it was me, Maurice and Gin just sitting around at Donna's. Gin was checking out some of the servers and she looked at one of the female servers. "Hey Rob, are her boobs bigger than mine?" Without thinking, I glanced at down briefly at Gin and looked up at the server. "Nope", I replied. All of a sudden I feel this sharp pain in my left arm from Maurice's fist. "MAN! You don't check out my girlfriend's chest when I'm sitting right next to you! UgH." We just sat there laughing for a good 10 minutes.

-         It was nice to have Maurice working at Donna’s with me. He would give me girl advice while we worked. I finally found interest in my current girlfriend, Annie, and he encouraged me to go for it.

-         When he found out that things were official, he called me just to say, “I’m happy for you man”

-         I remember Maurice and I having a discussion about hickeys. He has this crazy theory about hickeys being the root of skin cancer. It was a heated debate, and it went on for a good 30 minutes. “Think about it man… what is a hickey? Dead blood cells, when they get clogged up you’ll get skin cancer. That’s why you never see hickeys on Me or Gin.” I told him it was the dumbest thing I’ve heard in my life. He got frustrated with me and told me to do whatever I wanted.

-         Annie and I always poked fun of Maurice and Gin for over using “Hunnie”. Every other sentence they said to each other was Hunnie this, Hunnie that. Annie told me that if I ever called her hunnie she would probably have to break up with me. So… I started calling her “hunnie”. We would always laugh when we called each other that, until it actually stuck to us.

-         We were planning a surprise double date to go have dinner at Toby’s. Gin might already know, since Maurice can never keep anything from her. We were supposed to go sometime mid-January 2005.

 

Car Stuff

-         Maurice’s car was his pride and joy. He poured his heart and savings into customizing his Accord. I remember the long talks we use to have about what he was going to do next and what he needed to fix. I asked him if he would ever consider trading in his car. He gave me scornful look. “I’m not like most people that believe cars are objects that take you from point A to B. It’s something that I love, something that I look at it and tell people, I made that.”

-         He was always into import cars. I remember he had a set of white rims that he had been talking about putting on for the longest time. When he finally saved up enough money for the tires, he was like a 7 year old on Christmas Day. He drove by me one morning, as I was walking to class. He had the BIGGEST grin I had ever seen, and he waved at me to make sure I saw him and his new rims

-         I talked about installing a turbo kit in my civic awhile back. Maurice gave me a car magazine to help me research one that I liked. He said he would help me install it.

-          I got a HID kit off speedoptions for practically free. I knew that Maurice wanted an HID kit for his car, so I offered to trade it with him for other carparts in the future. You should have seen the ways his eyes lit up when I made the offer. We both knew that I was getting ripped off, but I didn’t care. He helped me out in the past, and I knew that he’d always be there for me if I had any car problems. So I gave it to him.

-         His engine went into hydro-lock because of his cold air intake. It was about the same time I was shopping for an intake for my car. I finally picked out and told Maurice about it. I told him I was getting an intake, but not the one like his because of his busted engine. He laughed at me and called me an ass.

-         I remember he always had this big dent on the hood of his car. It bugged me so much that his car was hooked but, except for this huge dent. I remember buying a “Ding King” just so I could try to fix it for him. He laughed at me and said those things don’t work, and I tried it on my girlfriend’s car and he was right. Then he laughed at me some more.

-         He installed his own engine in his car. He was always talented like that. I use to go over to his place and pretend I could offer help. Of course I know nothing about cars and he knew I wouldn’t be any help to him. But he still let me come watch and mess around with his expensive tools.

-         I’ll be honest; I wasn’t too impressed when Maurice first got his new Prelude engine running. It was loud and huge puffs of smoke poured from the exhaust. I gagged from the smell whenever he gave me a ride. Before he left us, his car was running 100% smoothly. He fixed the smog problems and I was definitely proud of his accomplishment. He installed a new engine in his Accord with simple hand tools all in his garage by himself.

-         He offered to do an engine swap for me when I made enough money. My plans were to finish school and swap out my engine as soon as I got a steady job. By then my engine would have a lot of miles on it and probably be breaking down anyways. I remember he offered to do a swap for a third of whatever the other garages charged.

-         He used to give me random car parts from his own car or parts he never used for his own.

-         He taught me how to beat the meters at College Park. Electric Tape + dime = brilliant. Except, I could never get one to work as well as his. Usually my meter-cheater would get stuck and I would have to re-park my car elsewhere.

-         I was revving my engine and showing off my exhaust for a group of friends. He comes over and breaks up the party by lecturing me how “revving your engine will create carbon build up in”. I stopped for 30 seconds, looked at him and smiled, then started revving my engine again. “Man! What did I just say?!?”

-         We drove up to Hershey Park. I took my car, while Maurice drove Gin’s G35, since it was quieter than his and he had to drive Gin’s cousins. I remember racing up and down the highway with Hyung Jin and seeing Maurice’s painfully urged look to join in the fun. When we got to Hershey Park, he complained about how if he had his car and wasn’t driving his girlfriend’s cousins then I would have been eating his dust.

-         Maurice got new coilovers for his car, the same kind I was thinking about getting for my own. I asked him what he thought about it and he said he really likes them. He gave me the keys to his car and told me to drive his car around to see how I liked them. I got in the driver’s seat, while he sat in the passenger seat. His car didn’t have power steering, because it broke. Driving his car is like spinning the wheel in tea cup ride at the amusement parks. He sat there laughing at me the whole time, while it took me 10 minutes to make a full 3-point turn.

-         I remember one semester I was doing terribly in school. Maurice tried cheering me up by saying, “Its okay rob, if things don’t work out with school we can open a garage together. I’ll fix cars, you can paint body parts. You can paint parts better than anyone I have ever seen.”

-         I use to take my car over his house to work on it with him. I used his tools to try and install an exhaust system in his car. I remember I was too scared to crawl under my car to unbolt the screws. Maurice looked at me and laughed and crawled under there for me. He couldn’t get it done, so I drove off with my muffler hanging off of my car to a real shop. He told everyone about me being too scared to unbolt my exhaust and brought it up to make fun of me from time to time.

-         He was supposed to help me fix my brakes before he left. We kept setting up dates, but I kept pushing them back because of my studies, Maurice’s work schedule, or weather conditions. I’ve always had a carefree attitude towards my car since I thought Maurice would always be around to help me fix it. 

 

Random Outings

 

-         I’ve been to his house a couple times for BBQ on July 4th. It has been a tradition to sit out in front of his house, grill up some steaks, and have a couple Coronas. One year, he was extra excited about having people over. He told me that he purchased a big bundle of fireworks and to hurry over to set them off. I remember that his “fireworks” turned out to be nothing more that sparklers. Even the largest one in his firework collection did nothing more than sparkle. He was so grumpy that evening, but luckily my friends and I smuggled some real ones from PA and kept the party going.

-         We all went to the Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake concert together. I remember Gin freaking out because she thought he lost her digital camera. I rushed into the guy’s bathroom to see if Maurice had it. I patted down his pockets while he was using the urinal. He freaked out and kept screaming at me, but he couldn’t push me away because his hands were occupied. Now that I think about it, why didn’t I just ask him if he had it?

-         We went to blockbuster one time to pick out a Playstation game, since we were tired of play SSX Tricky. He let me pick, and I decided to pick this… robot game. Although he said not to get it, I still wanted to get it because it was the only game that was non-sports and 2 players. When we got back to Gin’s house, he popped it in and started to play it. Within 2 minutes into the game he got frustrated because the robot couldn’t jump and he was stuck in front the wall. He turned off the Playstation and yelled at me for picking such a stupid game. Then we went back to playing SSX Tricky.

-         He came to my 20th birthday at Daedalus, even though he could only stay for 20-30 minutes. That was the kind of person he was; so loving and caring towards his friends. HA, I remember him trying to dance. He had is arms up and waving in awkward motions with his trademark grin. There were 4-5 girls around him and he looked so nervous.

-         He was the first person to come visit me when I got back from Taiwan. He drove from his house to see and chat with me for 15 minutes; then he had to go to work. I got him a car magazine from Japan. I knew how much he loved cars, and how he was all about the JDM Car parts. I never had the chance to give it to him.

-         Platinum Night Club

o       One time, Gin, Maurice, and a couple other friends went to Platinum club our freshmen year. We took the subway there and waited in line to go in. I remember the bouncer asking Gin for ID, since all she brought was her College ID. He asked for her birthday, and she stuttered a bit and started to cry. Maurice immediately wrapped his arms around her, to comfort her that moment was priceless.

o       While waiting in line, someone behind us got their fake ID confiscated by the bouncer. I remember the guy bragging to his friends that he’ll just outrun the cops if they tried to arrest him. Maurice turned around and said to him, “That is a Crown Victorian Cop car. It has a V-12 Engine in it… yea… I would like to see you outrun that.” Maurice was always an Auto-Geek.

o       Platinum wasn’t that much fun. Not only were we bad dancers, neither of us were 21 yet so we couldn’t drink. We kind of just stood around for the night but as we left, there was a homeless guy asking for money. He was a creative homeless guy… singing tunes and asking for money for alcohol.

“My neck… My back… I think I need a 6pack!”
There were other creative lines, but I can’t think of them right now, but I remember how amusing it was to Maurice. “Too bad… that was the highlight of the night!”

-         He gave some painful tittie twisters. I’m not sure how it started… I think I might have started it first. But we would go up to each other randomly and pinch each other nipples. I was just playing with him, but man… he twisted like none-other.

-         I made him go to the Gym with me back in freshman year of college. I wanted to get buff like him so I followed him around the weight room and did everything he did… except with 35% less weights.

-         He introduced me to Viet sandwiches. I remember I was having girl troubles once again and he shared some of his sandwiches with me.
"Have you ever had a viet sandwich?"
"no"
"they're good as s---"
I remember eating 2-3 of them. On my second one, i got curious and opened the sandwich up to see what was inside. Maurice and I just starred at the contents to figure out what made the sandwiches so good. We recognized everything except for the "mystery meat".
"what do u think it is?"
*starring for 1 minute*
"I don't know, man"
We shrugged at each other and continued eating the sandwiches. yea, he definitely knew how to cheer me up.

 

[Back to Friends]