“When You Sleep” (RIP Peter Cheng)

Peter Cheng

Peter Cheng was a student, thinker, music lover, and great friend. I’ve known Peter since kindergarten, and we attended the same school until the eighth grade. Peter tragically passed away several weeks ago at the age of 22. This post is dedicated to him.

Peter – I remember the old times, hanging out at your place after school, playing Twisted Metal on the PlayStation and watching you eat microwaved fries drenched in olive oil. Even then, I knew you were a special guy. Brilliant, multi-talented, funny, kind.

I remember the times we spent in middle school band, where you basically held down the low-end with that lone baritone, back when Mr. Arroyo would arrange after school hockey games in the band room. And the times we traveled to Disneyland and other competitions to perform.

After middle school, we both went our separate ways – you to Bishop Amat and I to South Hills. We had periodic conversations online, mostly about music. Thanks for introducing some really great bands to me – you’ve always had an impeccable taste in music. I still listen to Pure Reason Revolution today.

It’s been many years since we last spoke in person, but I do remember the last time we met. It was nearing the end of high school, and I happened to run into you at the local Edwards Cinemas. After our quick chat about high school and life, we embraced, and I’m so thankful for that moment.

Several weeks ago by chance, your post on Facebook about Nietzschean affirmation popped up in my news feed, and I thought it was absolutely beautiful and profound:

“Some days I am so filled with existential doubt….Why am I here? What legacy will I leave behind? Am I really making a difference? But then I remember Nietzsche. ‘ …and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event – and in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed.’ I recall all the moments I was truly happy and I realize a moment of joy can redeem a lifetime of pain. And so I do my best to carry on, singing and dancing while the music is playing.”

I will miss you, old friend. Thank you for the times you made my soul tremble with happiness. One day, I hope to see you again and enjoy listening to mbv with you. Until then, godspeed and may you rest in peace.


Eighth Grade Band

“When you sleep tomorrow
And it won’t be long
Once in a while
When you make me smile”

  1. March 3, 2013
  2. March 4, 2013
  3. March 6, 2013
    • March 6, 2013

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