Coming out of the closet
|Wednesday, July 28, 1999, 14:45
No, I'm not gay. It's another closet. :)
It happened like this: my mother works in a bookshop. The other
day a man came in asking if he could place a sign on the door.
It was a linguistics-related seminar sponsored by the place this
guy worked for, a linguistics-oriented centre (they are also
literaty critics). My mother told him about me and my interest
in linguistics and literature (since I also write short stories),
and he said 'Let him come' and set an appointment for me. I went,
and we spent over an hour talking about my stories, my linguistics
knowledge ('I don't understand, where did you get this from?'),
and my languages. He seemed interested in the language (he didn't
get much of it, since he only studied some Latin and Greek, plus
Esperanto, which I'm not going to tell you what he said about,
since it could offend sensitive ears) and he even made me read
some of it aloud surrounded by his secretary and collaborators
(so I went red and with palpitations).
I had to explain to him that I'd only read some scattered bits
about linguistics and that everything I knew came from *here*,
and he immediately thought Conlang was some sort of an august
assembly of Olympic-god-looking linguists. I clarified him about
the point, but he didn't seem disappointed, and he wants to meet
*us* (Conlang) as soon as he has e-mail access (remember it's
a 3rd world country here!), which will be soon now that I
encouraged him a bit. I told him that all of you were incredibly
helpful, so don't disappoint me! :) (kidding, I know you won't).
This guy just couldn't believe it when I told them hundreds of
people out there were making languages for fun, and that we
weren't all philosophical-oriented bishops. He even encouraged
me and confessed he had engaged for a short time in the 'secret vice'
when he was about fifteen, but then abandoned it convinced he
would never have the knowledge to accomplish a good result. He
ended the conversation by expressing his joy that I had achieved
something he could not, to which I replied 'It's never late to
start'. And that's it.
All in all, this has been a bit traumatic, hence the title of this
message, but also liberating (and promising, since these people
organize literary contests, and I might see my stories published
So, what do you think?