Jim throws up his hands and leaves the room. Brian sits silent beside me, his face lined in anger. The only sound is his pen tapping, an odd discordant note with the dying echos of the group's hearts. There isn't anything I can say. He must read it on my face.
I don't bother to explain that I couldn't feel the heart of the group or single out Ken's reactions. It isn't something I like to talk about, this faking it in this heartbeat-dependant dimension. Yet knowing this crush of bodies has its appeal, in the bright yellow waltzes of hearts supping at candleight dinners or the synchronized flashes of agreements. Even so, I long for a simpler existence, one where we could sometimes shield our bodies. A minimalist datastream where what was said was all that mattered.