White sat in one of the chairs and laced his fingers together in his lap. Peters remained standing, looking out of each window in turn as if the view from one might change if he moved a foot to the left. The security guard stared at him, glancing occasionally toward White.
Peters moved below one of the speakers and addressed the guard. “How can you stand to listen to this all day? The speakers are too small to give any life to music. I call it music in the broadest sense, mind, in that it's a series of notes played in a non-random order that seems reminiscent of something I once heard on the radio. Music is supposed to sooth the savage beast. Playing it off-key with a Stylophone through tinny speakers is making it more likely that I turn to some form of violence to act out the frustration I'm feeling.”
The guard reached to remove an ear bud from his iPod. “What?”
“You weren't even listening to me. I was complaining about this tinny music.”
The guard cocked his head to one side to listen. “This is near the end of the track.”
“Oh, that's a relief. At least it'll be something different.”
“Oh, no. There's only one track, played over and over.” The guard replaced his ear bud and returned to watching the monitor screens behind his desk.
Peters clenched his teeth and sat next to White. He fidgeted for several seconds. “This is the most uncomfortable seat I've ever sat in. The seat doesn't match any bottom I've ever seen and the back digs in at the wrong spots.”
White nodded. “Both music and seats are designed for maximum discomfort. I think it's to encourage visitors to leave before seeing anyone. Clever, really.”