Official Artist
James Z. Feng
Actor , Director , Screenwriter
131,159 views| 59  Posts

Tommy & His Black Beemer

     I had a childhood friend... let's call him Tommy,  I met up with Tommy a while ago during Christmas, and in the midst of all the partying, he told me this sincere story about him and his old car. Tommy was your typical Asian guy who was really into cars back in the days. Difference between Tommy and those other Asian guys is that Tommy didn't do it to be cool; his dream was to be a drifter. Most Asian guys in high school are all about being cool and thus the cool cars to impress the ladies, but Tommy wasn't about that. Tommy's first car was a used black BMW 3 Series that was nice and clean, but you can tell by looking at his car that he didn't want it to look all glazed up to get other people's attention.

       Tommy always said he wanted to be a drifter, but the funny thing is no one ever knew when/where he was drifting. If you say you want to make it to the NBA, you better be practicing everyday. So it always drove me crazy because this guy was so serious about being a drifter but no one ever knew him doing his thing. It was only years later that I found out he DID drift on his own but kept it a secret so that no one would know he was practicing. The only reason I found out was because he crashed one time and his girlfriend at the time told me when I asked her how he was doing. Tommy was drifting somewhere and lost control due to some slippage and totaled his BMW that year and missed 2 weeks of school. Funny thing was, instead of just throwing out the old car, he spent the $10k insurance money rebuilding his car. He could've bought a better car with that money, but he didn't. 


     Tommy built his car back and after a while started realizing he was getting nightmares and flashbacks of the accident from being inside his Beemer. After some pursuasion from his girlfriend, Tommy sold his salvaged car and bought a new Acura. The day Tommy sold his car, he said he thought he was going to die, this guy was literally going through pains in his chest and having breathing problems. He said he knew he made the wrong decision but couldn't do anything about. A few months go by and Tommy is back in action drifting with his new Acura and things are back to normal.

     One night, Tommy suddenly gets up in the middle of the night and drives to the house of the guy that he sold his Beemer to. The guy lived in an apartment complex and parked his car outside, so Tommy found the car after searching around for a bit. Having saved a copy of the old key, Tommy jumps in his old ride and goes joyriding at 3am in the morning. In his own words "that shi* was crazy... I lost that feeling that I had, and for some reason, I couldn't live, and when I was back in it, I got it all back, all my memories with her, all the shi* I went through, my mom, everything came back to me, and I was crying while driving at 3 in the morning and it was at this point I realize I couldn't live without this car, you know sometimes you don't know it until you've lost that something and you realize how much of you was in it, and I knew I couldn't live with myself I had just let that go."

     The BMW was his 17th birthday gift from his mom before she was killed in an auto-accident 5 days after his birthday. The day before his mom passed away, Tommy made his mom promise she would let him take her drifting so she can see how good he, and she agreed. She bought him the car because she saw all the posters in his room of BMW cars and asked his uncle to buy him a used one she could afford. His mom worked as a housekeeper for rich folks in Blackhawk and did that for many years to bring up Tommy, the two of them lived on the property of the family she housekept. His mom really loved him like any mom would her only son, but she loved him in a way that was different than most Asian parents; she loved him by understanding. Tommy's mom knew he wasn't so good at school, and she never pressured him to do well because she understood her son wasn't meant to do well in school. She knew no matter how many times she quarreled with him or forced him to study, it would lead to nowhere. She knew her son and never had expectations for him because she wanted him to be happy doing what he loved. Tommy knew his mom was special than most of his Asian buddies and took great pride in bragging to all of us how cool his mom was. He never recovered from that incident.

     The very next day, Tommy sold his new car, begged the guy to buy his car back and paid $1500 more than the price he sold it for. In the next year, Tommy went on and competed in a few drifting competitions but slowly faded away from the drifting world as time went by. He said he knew he was never that good at drifting but always wanted to do it because it was the only thing that he could brag to his mom about. Since she knew nothing about the drifting, he could practice until he gets good and then finally take her.

     Tommy was in tears when he told me how much he missed his mom and how he was never able to find another friend in this world who could understand him the way she did. It's been 10 years and many friends and acquaintances have come and gone, and that memory is still lingering... and it will stay with him until the day he parts with this world. The day after his mom's death, Tommy went with his buddies and broke all the house windows of the person that crashed and killed his mom with rocks and BB guns. He says he still drives by there sometimes with a BB gun even though it's different people living there now. Tommy's heart never healed from that accident and he's ok with that. He said his mom taught him to never forgive because human nature always resort back to sin once forgiveness is granted. Tommy didn't have many friends, but the few of us really liked him because he was honest and never held back from telling the truth. His friendship is one of of honesty and loyalty that is rare in today's world.

     Tommy is now a sales manager at Bestbuy with a wife and 4 year-old kid.

     And yes, he is still driving that same black Beemer.        

almost 11 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares
Rottendoubt a4 patrick
wow ... is that stoy for real?? sounds almost like a movie...
almost 11 years ago
Rottendoubt a4 patrick
and ... he seems like a nice guy, but maybe he might need to talk to a shink to work through things?
almost 11 years ago
Photo 123296
ditto what RD said.. wow
almost 11 years ago
Photo 197077
wow .. I kind of hope it's not a real story for his sake... Nobody really would understand how he feels inside unless you have been there :( my mom is gone too and she was my very best friend .. I was so angry at the world when she passed... but now I understand it's the way things had to be... she was too special to ride it out here any longer :)
almost 11 years ago


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Languages Spoken
english, mandarin, shanghainese
Location (City, Country)
San francisco, United States
Member Since
July 4, 2007