We have a perfectly comfortable observation post set up in an office on the southeast side of the Fuller building, but these rooftop observations have to be done about twice a month to detect any slight movement. And she does move. The big girl is made of copper. She breathes and stretches with heat from the sun every day. If you took a film of her and sped it up, you'd swear she was a living breathing woman. When they did the renovation in 84 nearly half her rivets were popped out of place. But that's just normal physics. We're looking for any motion beyond that.
I take a reading from a laser rangefinder, and record some measurements. They don't mean anything until I get a chance to factor in the current temperature and humidity, but I'll wait until I get back inside to do all that. Meanwhile, I might as well check out some of the tourists through the binoculars. Maybe there's some cute girls walking around.
I don't see any on the ground, but there's one up in the torch that doesn't look bad. Her red hair is whipping around in the wind like a flame. They just recently opened the torch up again. It was closed in the 60's for safety reasons. I watch her until she disappears, then head back to the office.
Later that afternoon, I finished up my calculations in the office. Around 5, I was just about to head down to the street to catch the subway home when I heard old Gene, our metallurgist swearing under his breath.
"Two point seven... two point seven... Damn!"
Gene's been at this way too long. He gets excited about every little thing. "Take it easy Gene. What's two point seven? If I miscalculated a number I'll fix it up in the morning."
He was getting red-faced now. "You didn't miscalculate! I checked your math twice! And all your other readings confirm it! She's dropped her elbow two point seven centimeters in the past ten days!!"
"Gene. Relax. I'm sure we can figure this out." I had to calm this guy down before he popped a blood vessel.
It wasn't working. He was even more agitated. "Don't you read the historicals? This has happened at least twice before since she's been constructed. Forty years ago was the last time. We were desperate to find out what was going on, taking all kinds of measurements. One of the things we did was leave a tape recorder running at extremely slow speed inside her head." "She was whispering! In French! Begging for the sea to dissolve her!"
My head was spinning. "Gene. Slow down. What are you saying?"
"You idiot! She's slumping! She's doing it again! She's trying to kill herself!"