It was the first week of June for me, on a Wednesday morning. It was a pretty normal day up until this point. I stopped for my morning coffee, picked up some breakfast and headed into work. The skies were blue, sounds of the bustling traffic were radiating from all sides and the voice of Mike and Mike speaking about last nights NBA game over the radio. It was just your average, early morning commute. Little did I know that this day, which started out so uneventful would turn my life upside down and change things forever.
I was going about my business, just working on some accounts in the office when it happened…..I got the call. It was my brother, who rarely calls, especially during the work day. I knew that this had to be important and my mind immediately gravitated towards something bad. As soon as I answered the phone, his trembling tone and the way his voice crackled just gave me an empty pit in my stomach. The last time I had a call that started out like this, I was informed of a death in the family. I waited impatiently for what he was about to say, hoping for something that would alleviate my anxiety. This was not the case. His first few words were…”Do you have a second” and when I said “Yes”, he asked me if I was sitting down. My heart started to race profusely now. A nervous reflex even knocked over my coffee that was sitting on my desk. I said in a worried tone “what is it?”……there was a brief pause, a deep breath and another hesitation before he said “Its about”…….then there was another pause. A million thoughts were circling my mind now. I was thinking about what, about who, what happened? This is when he spoke the 2 most significant words I have ever heard him say …… “Monkey Island”.
It had been many years since I had last heard the phrase “Monkey Island”. I realize that those are only 2 words, but they are about as powerful as they get. When I heard those words, it was almost like I had seen a ghost. Monkey Island was one of the best chapters in my life, but a chapter that has been closed for almost a decade now. I started to revisit in my mind a memory that for so long had been buried and untouched. A million memories started to flood my brain at this point. I thought of many random points of the epic game series such as patching the boat, getting past the Cabana boy, capturing Pegnose, or watching Marco De Pollo get attacked on his dive. These memories brought me back to a point of complete euphoria when we were able to enjoy probably the greatest game to ever be made. However, like all good things…..it had to eventually come to an end. The conclusion of the monkey island series caused me a great deal of depression and marked a very painful time in my life.
About 9 years ago when this series came to its end, I tried to look at the positive. I tried to be optimistic and I told myself that I would just wait 5 years and then I could just play monkey island again and it would be just as fun because hopefully I would have forgotten a lot of the puzzles. So...I waited and after 5 years when the time was right, I threw in the curse of Monkey Island. There were many puzzles that I did forget, but were also many that came back to me right away. I understood this experience would never compare to a new monkey island, but this is all I had. After I finished them for the second time, I knew that was it. I knew Monkey Island was officially over…..forever.
Ultimately, these memories were bottled up and kept in a very safe and secure part of my mind but were never touched because thinking about this classic would usually only make me even more depressed. There were several times in the early part of the decade that I would hear rumors of another “monkey island” release. I always was excited when I heard these rumors and would be the first one to investigate the legitimacy of them. Each and every time though, the rumors were squashed and one day I realized that Monkey Island was finished and wasn’t ever coming back.
So when I heard my brother speak the words “Monkey Island”, I immediately felt anger towards him. Why would he bring up such a delicate and sensitive subject for me. What would he possibly have to say about this game that wouldn’t take me back, when for so many years I have progressed nicely getting past and getting over this famed classic. I realize that only time can heal these kind of deep wounds and I was doing very well and coping nicely. He then said two more words that were equally as powerful. He said “Its back”.
My mind again started to go in a million directions. What did he mean “Its back?”……why was he doing this to me and playing with my emotions? I asked him what he was talking about and he said he was sending me a link over the computer. I waited and I waited and what was in actuality seconds, seemed like an eternity. I clicked on the link and what I saw on the screen and the words that I read, changed my life forever. I saw an illustration of Guybrush, LeChuck, the pirate ship and the voodoo lady. The words I read that were emblazoned over the image were the most instrumental and life altering words I have ever read. The caption said “ Humor, Romance and Piratey Swashbuckling in an all new epic saga”. That was the key part of the phrase….. “all new”.
I couldn’t believe my eyes and starting to think that this was just a practical joke, a gimmick of some kind. I was thinking it was just like a mirage of a pool of crystal blue water in the desert and just as you get close enough to take a sip, it disappears. I thought….how could someone play such a cruel joke? How can someone play with my innermost thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears? Especially, how could my own brother do this to me? He did his best to assure me that this was by no means a joke, but the real deal. So many times in the past he would joke about “another monkey island” but that never panned out and the last thing I expected was for one to be released after so many years. I was as skeptical and as cynical as they come but when I saw the trailer for the game and the forums with so many others rejoicing like I was, I knew that it was for real.
I still don’t think that reality has set in for me yet…….I still don’t think my mind has really processed the ramifications that this had , has and will have on my life. All I know is that on that early June morning, in the year 2009, my life was changed…….forever.