Pressure

When I was a kid, I always wanted a barometer. They just seemed so romantic and exciting, you know? It was this antique looking brass dial that sea captain’s had, and all of the old people I knew who were halfway cool had a barometer in their house. People talked about the barometer all the time – the weathermen, in movies, on TV. A storm’s coming! The pressure’s dropping!

It was like an action movie. Like Terminator 2, “Come with me if the barometric pressure is dropping.” Or Die Hard, “The barometer’s rising, motherfucker.”

I swore that, when I grew up and had disposable income, I’d get a classic brass analog barometer and be just like those sea captains. I could live in my very own action movie whenever there was a storm. I couldn’t wait to have a barometer around so I could watch the dynamic weather changes as they swept across my small part of the world, like the time traveler in The Time Machine watching the days spin wildly past. I saw myself, hosting a party, getting to dramatically scream out, “The barometer’s faaaaling!” and everyone would rush to grab their coats, bustling out into the wintry winds that had descended from nowhere. My warning saving lives as all my friends arrived home before the storm. Or when asked what the plans were for a lazy Saturday, I could, at a glance, Say with authority, the barometer says it’ll be sunny and perfect for a picnic!

So imagine my dismay when I finally did become the proud owner of a shiny brass barometer and I found out it’s the instrumental equivalent of having a lazy hermit crab for a pet. The sort of hermit crab where you’re not sure if it’s alive or dead. You see that, every day, its shell has moved slightly. But no matter how long you sit there and stare, you’ll never see it actually move.

My barometer always stays within a nice, polite range. It takes 24 hours to really resettle itself a few points this way or that way, and it seems to ignore the weather in my immediate area. Like it only reflects the barometric pressure on Wonder Woman’s Paradise Island. Even when something like Hurricane Sandy comes in and the weathermen are screaming about the barometer and the DC area is losing its shit, my barometer was like, ho-hum, just making coconut cream pies here with Princess Diana of Themyscira.

*windows smash, trees come down, children run naked, screaming, into the streets pursued by napalm-like flames*

“Yawn,” says the barometer, turning away from the spectacle, “I think I’ll go to bed early.”

Oh my god! Just look! Look out the window! What’s wrong with you? We’re fucking dying out here!

“Zzzzzz…..”

So, yeah. Another fucking childhood goal trashed. Whatever. I’ll just sit here until the water rises and I drown and I don’t have to worry about this shit anymore.

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