People rush past and I make my way through the hall. The flashing bass thrum of heartbeats in the halls overwhelms me with too many encounters to even distinguish a single line. I wish I could cover my ears, but that doesn't really help the hearbeat sense--it barely dims it--and it looks silly, besides.
I concentrate on looking for Brian, hoping he remembered that Jim, the team leader, had mentioned that Ken, the head of the California legal team, had a slightly clogged left ventricle and would Brian get vegetables and dip or fruit instead of donuts? I admire Jim's ability to distinguish those tiny details of heartbeats--that is why he is a team leader and I am a mere analyst. You can't get anywhere in politics or business without a finely attuned sense of hearts.
Brian is coming down the hall and I greet him warmly. "Hey Brian, thanks for getting the vegies. I'll take those up. Could you fix a couple of things in the hydrograph real fast--see right here?"
I hold the paper up and Brian glances at the paper and then at me. Again I stop and filter. Too late. This is something I should have done before I spoke to him. My face flushes and my heart goes kAthumPKKTThumP in writhing embarrassment. His heart is going kattatttattkkattatta: which I think now means in a hurry and upset at something. I apologize for the second time that morning and say I hadn't realized that he had been upset or I would have modified my approach to the problem. I would in the future approach him with more sensitivity.
He waves off my concerns--"I just felt a little silly about the error, that's all. Nothing to worry about. Save your embarrassment for some real faux pas, ok?" He claps my shoulder--he's a pal.
"Thanks buddy." We smile at each other, but I don't take the time to interpret his heartbeats.