i bought an almost matching sweatshirt
my lifeguard to his Ron Jon surf shop
i wear it when he’s not around
oversized and warm like his hugs
in my red fleece sleepwear i float
reliving our beach day together
oceanic lovers overcoming tides
i turn the fan on
first chord strung
we were happy
but it’s his CD
i made a deal with faith
to fast in exchange for more time
with the cute boy in my grade
i asked for us to share
at least three classes together
so i could flaunt my academic prowess
allure him intellectually
when it came true the less i ate
the more sleepy i became
my academic acme in jeopardy
i gave up my foolhardy request
to devour a cheeseburger
preserving my valedictorian prestige
dark brown withering spots
dot her like large sporadic freckles
remains of scalding water kissing
her throat to belly, childhood mishap
she scrubbed in the bath to forget
he said I love you any way
but her insecurity choked her
a quilt on a ninety degree night
The Big Sick is raw, humorous, and bittersweet in capturing the frustration of an identity affected by polar cultures. Born first generation or moved to America at an impressionable age, fitting in is the solution to mental stability while appeasing to parents who moved countries for a better life is the solution for emotional stability. But compromising has to have a limit, right?
I recommend this movie to all adults who are in or have flirted with interracial relationships. Old folk with their conservative opinions will not like this movie. But that’s exactly why they have to watch it. Choosing to dismiss facts or feelings because it does not personally align with their beliefs simply hinders learning.
Growing up, I loved the term American melting pot. I felt as though it connected me to all the citizens of the states, a motley crew that made up the soul of the country because of the freedom we had to be whoever we wanted. But the inbred upturned noses silent in public are virulently verbose in the confines of their home in degrading anything – anyone – different. I hear it, the (un)intentional racist joke and I cringe.
The actors in the film gave a stellar performance, the dialogue rich in realism and awkwardness that moves it way past just a movie about cross-culture lovers. Rather it’s the struggle within that affects relationships around the main character Kumail. In this story, grappling between the choice between love and family, Kumail hides behind the expected choice further stowing away his own pride. In a turn of events of dire circumstance, he finds himself in a face-off with his parents who badger him for his selfishness to drop the ball on all that they wanted – nay, expected – of him. He fires back, “why did you bring me to America at all? How can you think it wouldn’t affect me?” (paraphrased of course).
That’s the line that floored me. There were so many poignant and comically relatable scenes, but it’s the words that I have asked and wondered myself up there on screen – I felt exposed. Vulnerable. And when those feelings are dismissed, that’s selfish of those choosers.
Want to laugh? Want romance? Want to tear up with empathy? This movie has it all. The Urdu and the nods to Pakistani garb, food and views is an added bonus of insight to another vibrant culture.
Bottomline: if you have ever met someone who lacked the comprehension of love is love and thwarted your relationship from advancing by insinuating the loss of your family in the pursuit of love, you need to watch this movie. It will reinforce the belief within – you are the one capable of making the right choice for yourself.
22 going on 40
miss days I could stay up
for fun instead of work
important to take ME day
bubble bath and exfoliate
doodling and dancing
but it’s really all you
textbooks and bills
done together it’s child’s play
equals taking turns
dishwashing is water splashing
my heart’s young
you walk I follow
you slow down I quicken
our path continues