I'm so OUT I'm IN

The following conversation took place the other night. I have excised certain portions of the conversation that were unrelated to the two topics below, but in no way have I altered the tone or timbre of our discussion, not even for spelling.

The way it started was that Sagar commented on a Rank Everything list I had (about TV characters). I couldn't find his email, but through his profile saw his IM and buzzed him. After a couple days of Yahoo tag we were finally on at the same time. After the brief hello and a webam request, Sagar jolted me with a question....leading to the following:

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:41:58 AM): i assume u r a female

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:42:01 AM): no no

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:42:02 AM): I'm male

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:42:23 AM): then y is there a picture of lady in ur window

[My Avatar is indeed a female. I’ve never really thought about it before]

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:42:25 AM): that girl just refuses to leave

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:42:35 AM): she showed up one day, and I've been stuck with her ever since

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:42:37 AM): anyways can i see u

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:42:44 AM): can you see me where?

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:42:53 AM): on webcam

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:42:55 AM): oh

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:43:01 AM): sorry. that's beyond my capabilities

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:43:06 AM): can't afford a webcam

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:43:20 AM): wats ur age

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:43:24 AM): 30

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:43:40 AM): wow man

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:43:47 AM): can you tell me how to pronounce Sagar? I really like that name. I may use it in one of my stories

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:43:48 AM): u dont sound 30

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:43:56 AM): Well, I'm a kid at heart

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:44:03 AM): its saagaar

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:44:34 AM): it means the ocean

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:44:39 AM): that's cool!

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:45:33 AM): thank you.

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:45:38 AM): its flattering

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:45:48 AM): can i ask u something personal.

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:46:02 AM): i dont mean to be rude or ill mannered.

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:46:47 AM): yeah

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:46:52 AM): r u gay

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:47:06 AM): no

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:47:13 AM): why would you think I was gay?

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:47:17 AM): have you read my stuff?

[I definitely seem a tad defensive at this point. I keep telling myself that he’s Indian, doesn’t know a whole lot about American culture, and I in email or IM things can come across differently. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken an interest in his name. Still, I’m sure it will just be a simple misunderstanding.]

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:47:33 AM): bcoz there is a picture of a girl in ur window

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:47:39 AM): of course i hv

[Looking back, the previous line is the key to the whole thing. This guy doesn’t know enough of American culture to be comfortable with idiom and our humor. Me writing “Have you read any of my stuff” is rhetorical, but he seems to take it seriously. I definitely shouldn’t have tried the humor about the girl just showing up. I’m feeling panicky over this conversation, which I really shouldn’t be.]

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:48:02 AM): that girl isn't me. She just showed up and refuses to leave, like a houseguest who won't depart the premises

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:48:02 AM): arent u the one who is a huge fan of tv ancharacters

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:48:27 AM): yes, that was the post you read: TV characters I wouldn't mind seeing on other shows

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:49:00 AM): but y would u be obsessed with other male characters

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:49:11 AM): i love watching tv but im more into women

[This line haunts me. I did only talk about Male characters. Is it A) because male parts are usually better (not enough good female parts these days)? B) As a male, I bond more with male characters, and would have more in common with a Homer Simpson or House than a Marge or Dr. Cameron? Or C) I’m a gay man, desperately in the closet. And why do I care what he thinks?]

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:49:30 AM): I'm not obsessed with male characters. I just liked those particular characters, and thought they would go well in other shows

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:49:39 AM): I SIMPLY LOVE AMERICAN CULTURE

[I’m editing out a little bit here, where I found out for sure he lived in India and we talked about what a kafila was in the context of a Rudyard Kipling poem. Also, right about here Mariemm3 showed up on IM and I told her about what was going on, which amused her greatly. Anyway, back to the insecurity that is my life…]

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:53:28 AM): I don't have any problem with gay people, but I think if you look over all my sites, you'll see I'm pretty far from gay. I have an entire site for only erotic stories, and I talk about my girlfriend on my site regularly

[My God….I’m like one of those racists who talks about his “black friends.”]

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:54:00 AM): thats good

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:54:02 AM): If you want, go to http://hyperioninstitute (my home page) and over on the left there is something called "Notify List" you type in your email, and it tells you any time I update any of my sites with new material

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:54:10 AM): u dont hv to prove anything to me

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:54:20 AM): not trying to prove anything.

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:54:28 AM): I'm just saying if you like the site and want to read the stuff

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:54:35 AM): that's a way to do it

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:54:36 AM): yaa

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:54:41 AM): or just stop by whenever you feel like it

[Now he’s comforting me? At best I come across like a needy person, desperate for attention. Honestly, I was just promoting my site. At worst, I come across like I’m trying to “prove” I’m not gay. I am very self-assured, usually full of aplomb. How is this dude disconcerting me so???]

[Fortunately, we shifted at this point into a different if equally bizarre topic of conversation: how all Indians are alike]

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:54:55 AM): anyways wat else do u know abt my country

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:55:22 AM): i know a lot abt usa

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:55:34 AM): i want to settle down in newyork

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:55:50 AM): im in love with it

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:56:10 AM): Well, a sizable pecentage of Kenya is Indians, so I grew up eating Indian food quite often, and still love it now. And my roommate was Indian in San Diego, and I dated a girl who was half Indian when I lived in Atlanta. I also had several Indians working for me when I managed a restaurant

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:56:21 AM): I don't know a whole lot, but I know a bit

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:56:35 AM): Obviously you can't judge an entire country based on a few people

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:57:08 AM): ofcourse u can if they share the same characteristics

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:57:55 AM): I disagree. You can't even judge me by my brother, and he grew up with me. I would never presume to judge a country of 1 billion people by the few relationships I've had with Indian people.

Sagar (8/16/2006 12:59:38 AM): listen dude, this may sound a little weird but the truth is almost every other indian is identical wether in terms of habits or behaviour

Hyperion (8/16/2006 12:59:55 AM): that does sound weird

Hyperion (8/16/2006 1:00:11 AM): Maybe being in America changes the ones I knew

Sagar (8/16/2006 1:00:27 AM): yes they r confused

Sagar (8/16/2006 1:00:38 AM): they dont know wat they shld be

Sagar (8/16/2006 1:00:53 AM): move on ort still struck to their values

The conversation continued for another twenty minutes, but at this point I began to relax somewhat. He wasn’t exposing me. It was him, the cultural differences, the distance.

Interestingly, Mariemm3 and I got into a political debate on whether you could “typecast” an entire culture. On the one hand, of course you can’t. On the other hand, India, with its rigid caste system and more homogynous populace probably does lead to uniformity in behaviors and habits (which is of course different than personality or soul). But that’s a discussion for another time.

For now, I need to take down the Tean beat posters of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman on my wall.


rennratt said...

I had no idea that you were from Kenya. I'm obviously new...

I merely assumed that you were a mouthy Canadian.

Tracy Lynn said...

HA! This cracked me up, for no other reason than it's so very Hyperion.

'Jax said...

Mouthy Canadians? Come come, we're all just jolly plaid-wearing folks without a harsh word for anyone.

Hyperion as a Kenyan? Now that's funnier than the gay dialogue. I'm imagining Hype blending into a crowd of Masai tribesmen. Rather like me blending into a crowd of japanese schoolgirls.

And on the homosexual point, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Hyperion, you have to dial that overwhelming machismo back. It's so tangible it works via IM. In person we have no chance whatsoever. Please. Stop now before you ruin us all for women everywhere. ;-)

rennratt said...

'Jax, REALLY. I grew up near the Canadian border. I KNOW how y'all can be.

Tobias the River Midget said...

Renn - I'm anwering Hyperion's comments. Having lived up here for awhile, Hyperion's way too smart to be Canadian.

Tracy Lynn - You know what else is Hyperion? He sleeps with a stuffed lion!

'Jax - You want Hyperion to have had you and your wife?

Renn - Judging all Canadians because you lived near one border? You're not racist, but you're Canacist.