Happened to me the other night. Happens to me a lot.
In jangled conversation over coffee or big talk over beer, I'll be banging some drum—on politics, on manners, on Chicago history—when a look of mild disgust and discomfort comes across the other guy's face.
The look precedes a sigh, which graduates into a mumbling reference to a related blog post or article of mine that the person read a month or a year or five years before.
What's not said and doesn't need to be is, "I've read you on this same subject, and believe me, you write better than you talk." Or, "You were smarter on this subject in 2008 than you are now." Or, "Don't you remember how I took your privileged white ass down when you wrote about this during our last National Conversation on Race?"
Frantically, I try to change the subject to something I know something about but haven't written anything about. But with my literary loquaciousness, there aren't too many of those things left.
And then I begin to understand what Dylan Thomas was talking about when, in his cups and rambling, he stopped.
"Somebody's boring me," he said. "I think it's me."