Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem.
Assalam alaikum! (as perky as I can possibly sound).
‘Sup, homes. (as gangster as I can possibly sound – because really, if you don’t like me, I want you to respect me. And respect in this world apparently means fear.)
I wish I wasn’t a writer.
I wish I was a plumber. I wish I found joy in pipes. In unclogging pipes. In learning the intricacy of sewage and drainage and any number of other -ages. I wish I could help someone with their pipes and I wish I could see that look of gratitude in their face. “Yeah! You did it! You did what I couldn’t!” And joy – glorious joy! They would pay me! An hourly rate too!
I wish I didn’t care what people thought. But heck I do. Or I try to convince myself I don’t, after they’ve hurt my feelings. Over and over again.
Over and over again.
I don’t know what it is. It’s well-documented that it sucks to be a Muslim, a woman, to live in a country where you don’t look like the dominant racial majority.
But surely, we can lay off even for a fraction of a second.
So I can catch my breath a little. So I can believe even for one second that I could be happy. That I wasn’t born a prisoner.
Sorry for asking. No, not really.
And a writer on top of all of that?
Bleeding onto the page and having someone spit at it. Over and over again.
Over and over again.
Week in, week out.
Humanity, I’m done with you. But really, I have nowhere to go. No other planet to call home. No other species that wants me. I’ve been feeling like that all my life. That I am an unwanted member of a family.
A number of things prompted this. Specifically, Alice in Arabia.
Seriously? Are we going there again? Isn’t that chestnut a little old? Like 23 years old? Now someone is going to tell me that, as writers, we’re always reworking the same concepts.
Gosh, I can’t wait for a Birth of a Nation remake.
I’ve gained a little weight. I said so to a woman. (Big mistake, by the way. Even a woman that loves me.)
She agreed with me. And then hurriedly and repeatedly tried to take back her words.
Goshdarn it, I was looking for a little validation. Not too much to ask right? Apparently it is.
You know what? Never mind. Fire at will. Or at me, whichever floats your boat.
I’m not going to puff up or shrink to protect myself. While I’m still alive (life, precious life), I’m going to be me. Can’t be anyone else, even if I tried. And believe me, I have. So fire away. It’s not going to change a thing. I wish it would. But it doesn’t.
Screenwriter. Muslim. Woman of colour. God give me strength.