My husband rubs his forehead.
He sips his cocoa, nodding his head at the same time as I'm talking fast and nonstop about someone he's never met.
That was sign #2.
He doesn't even say, "Hmm." anymore, like he did when I first walked in the room. I sense I'm losing him so I talk faster. Maybe if I talk fast enough I can get the whole story in before I put him to sleep? He looks at the floor and chuckles. I didn't say anything funny.
When we reach sign #3, which that was, I know the bell has been rung. Time's up. Next subject.
Someone new walks into the room. If they're over 10 they're considered fresh meat. Ever so carefully I tread into the "Good morning- How's it going?- Want to hear something really cool" territory? "Sure!" I start talking faster and more animatedly, engaging them in the story with a flourish of arm movements...until I see the slow but steady grey creep that starts at their heart and ends up at their eyes begging me to kill them quickly.
They've figured it out. Family history?
I finally give up. I try out the stories on other people. But I'm getting really good at reading eyes. When I start to feel like I must have residual lunch in my teeth I know I'm not talking to a gamer. Time to find neutral ground again...not 6 feet under either.
Their dead. I know. But just for a minute, well maybe a few, couldn't someone near and dear just PRETEND to be interested? At least I have Twitter and Linkedin. My Land of Oz.
Yup. They're really dead. Still. But not to me.