My sister Jenny had finally turned 22 and her birthday gift was rain.
"Cover your eyes," I said after I showed up unexpectedly at her apartment. "I have a surprise for you."
After a bit of convincing she went along with it, and I led her down five flights of stairs to the lobby.
She asked if we could have just taken the elevator.
"You’re not supposed to use the elevator when it’s raining. I read that once. I also like how they’re called flights. Where’s the plane? Haha." She didn’t laugh at my joke. I told her she could open her eyes now and she did.
"What? Where’s this surprise?" she asked.
"I know how much you like rain. It’s your birthday and it is raining. Happy birthday, sis."
She looked out into the bustling, wet street and then gave me a sour look. I gave her a sweet look. She walked away. I walked a way.
"Look, Jenny, to be honest, I would have bought you a present but my wallet is empty," I said as I reached into my back pocket and showed her my empty wallet. I had emptied it out the night before but she didn’t need to know that. I even took out my library card. That’s not even currency. I definitely could have left that in there and she still would have thought I was broke.
She looked at the floor, letting her curly blond hair become unfurled, grinned, and then looked back up at me. “It’s okay, I like your present. At the very least it shows that you care about me.”
And that’s how I got away with giving my sister rain for her 22nd birthday so I could buy sixteen globes the next day and smash them all with a baseball bat in the middle of times square.