Lin Page 13
hears on the Mucha metro when the doors are about to close, but less shrill, more flute-y.

Sounds C.J. is about to say nice but is struck by the horrible insincerity of the word. The birds continue their chirping, an impossible continuous loop, as if worms are forever being dangled just out of their beaks' reach.

You're wondering what this is. Allen is enjoying this little act of obfuscation. His head has the little wag it always does when he's about to achieve liftoff. From my Tokyo trip last week. They use this device in the bathrooms over there. When you tinkle, it sets off a sensor, which sets off these birdcalls. So instead of everyone hearing your piss, all they hear is the soothing sound of bluebirds. Takes all the embarrassment out of the act, and the Taiwanese are cutesy enough to buy in.
Patents, marketing, construction. What do you think? >

An opportunity, right?

Allen stares straight at him. C.J. hates this look, for he knows that no matter what he answers, his reply cannot possibly muster the same energy that Allen currently possesses, and in return the light in Allen's eyes will shift to muffled disappointment, the thoughts clearly readable: This young man doesn't share the vision, the drive, the ambition. C.J. looks over at Carol, but she is no help. She sits with arms crossed, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. A definite mid-twenties look.

Sounds~great, C.J. says. Yes, it is as he anticipated, even worse. Allen is looking down at the machine as if it is contagious, his mood going brown. With an impatient motion he lifts it off the table and sets it on the floor, the birds chattering one last time before going dead.