the year: 2000. It was my first time visiting New York City. At that time, I was still living in my hometown, São Paulo, running my first business, and was always hungry for learning more, doing more, experiencing more, exploring more.
As soon as I set foot on New Yorker soil, it was love at first sight. I mean, it is a much more intense experience when you see things and places in person, those same places you've seen before only in pictures and movies. I knew that, at some point, I would be moving to New York to live and run my business – which I did in 2006. Since then, I have been probably enjoying the most amazing years of my life.
There is a moment, though, that is entirely unbeatable every time I think about something funny in my life as a New Yorker. I mean, "funny" doesn’t even scratch the surface to describe the experience I had at the Empire State Building observatory.
Around 9PM of the 10th day of May in 2000, I was up there, on the 86th floor of one of the most iconic landmarks on Earth, seizing every second of those incredible views – and the building itself.
I was having a great time getting to know New York along with one of the funniest friends I have, a guy from Rio de Janeiro. At the observatory, I realized he was pretty amazed by all that atmosphere and everything Surrounding us. That was the very moment when I was blessed enough to experience one of the most precious stories in human history.
– "Man, this is impressive!" he said to me after a minute or two just looking around.
– "Indeed. And if we think this building was constructed in 1930 and in less than one year, this is even more impressive," I replied.
Then, he looked at me with perplexing eyes and spat a pearl:
– "No, I'm talking about King Kong. Americans are outstanding. How the hell have they managed to wrap that huge gorilla around this Super tall building to shoot the movie?"
King Kong laughing about this story at the top of the Empire State Building. Image: Sad Broken Teeth Acrylic Painting Design
I wasn't sure if i should laugh or jump off the observatory. But as soon as I looked at his entangled facial expression, I had to accept reality: he was serious about what he just said. I just wanted to make sure. because it was unthinkable that someone would even thought they wrapped a huge monkey around the Empire State Building to film King Kong...
– "Jesus Christ!!! Are f*#@ing you kidding me?" I asked him.
then, he suddenly saw the light. but it was too late already. the damage was done.
– “Did I say something wrong? Oh, my god! No! Please, this story dies right here, right now. You cannot share it to anyone.”
I would never keep that wonderful precious moment in the history of civilization up there in the 86th floor. I couldn’t wait to share this story with everybody. he kept insisting, though:
– “Man, do i have to beg you? C’mon! Please!”
I was laughing already and He even tried to bribe me:
– “All right already. Look, here’s the deal! We go straight to an atm, and I will give you 1,000 USD to kill this story now.”
He realized it wouldn’t be easy to convince me to not share that story:
– “okay! five thousand dollars to pretend it never happened.”
king kong was shocked. he couldn’t believe someone was saying that.
The world isn't fair, indeed. My friend is one of the smartest guys I know. He manages to be both a book-wise and a street-wise guy. He's now a teacher for MBA students in one of the top business schools in Rio. He is passionate about his job and a strong positive influence in his community. Still, this King Kong story will go along with him to his tumb.
It's like that story about the tourist backpacking through Scotland, and he stops at a pub to get a drink. The only people in there is a bartender and an old guy nursing his beer. He orders a pint and sits silently for a while. Suddenly, the old man turns to him with a mellow voice and that distinctive Scottish accent:
– "You see this bar? I built this bar with my bare hands from the finest wood in the county, give it more love than I gave to my own child... but do they call me McGregor the bar builder? No!"
Then he points out the window and says:
– "You see that stone wall out there. I built that wall with my bare hands. Found every stone and place them just so through the rain and cold. Do they call me McGregor the stone wall builder? No!"
He keeps talking to the tourist, and points out to the other window:
– "You see that pier on the lake out there? I built that pier with my bare hands. Drove the pilings against the tide of the sand, plank by plank. Do they call me McGregor the pier builder? No!"
After a two-second pause, he sums up: "But you fuck one goat...."
That's what happened to my friend. King Kong will be in his life forever as that moment of weakness nobody will ever forget.
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It’s okay, you can share it. just don’t tell my friend