In a bar, of course, and he won’t shut up, won’t listen, won’t even lower his tuneless goose honk of a voice.
No, no, breathe, it’s fine. (It’s not fine.)
An out-of-body experience, this level of vicarious embarrasment. Pinned, under the irritated eyes of everyone else. It’s a Tuesday, for christsake, it’s barely six o’clock, the bar is quiet and half-empty and he’s echoing around the place, laughing at his own jokes, a self-justifying machine elf, insufferable across multiple dimensions, and every other conversation has just died, they are laying (lying?) twitching and suffocating on the floor, flopping fish among the peanut shells.
He thinks they’re rapt, fuck me, he thinks he’s killing it.
He’s got opinions, which is bad enough, but worse, he’s got facts. Anecdotes. Interesting (no!) stories about the most inessential, mundane shit. The inventor of the Pringle. The ways that various countries spell whisk(e)y. Marxism. Is it worse that if he hasn’t read any Marx, or if he’s read a lot of Marx? Don’t get him started on Jungianism, he has no idea, but he saw a TikTok about it and god help you, he’ll show it to you.
The entire bar is watching him now. A full body flinch of a man. You can barely breathe: dead, you are dead. If only.