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Rico
American Dreamboat #1
Dillon stood in his patched sneakers and cutoff sweatpants, draped in Grandpa’s old Baltimore Orioles T-shirt under the hot July sun, the hot asphalt of the high school track feeling nice and warm under his feet. Rico and he loved coming to the high school track during summer, because all of those older teens were inside getting stoned or drunk and wouldn’t bother them.
Rico, was a short half-Mexican, half-Dominican kid who, at 12-years-old seemed to know everything while Dillon, at 12, felt like he knew nothing. That was probably because Rico had a dad, and an uncle, and Dillon’s dad was in prison and he had no uncles and didn’t know shit, so learned what he could from Rico, who had adopted him as his pet whiteboy; Dillon’s blonde hair and fair skin—red under this sun—set him apart.
Rico was short and tanned and muscular and could kick any other Junior High School kid’s ass and had been Dillon’s protector this past year and had also been his coach, bossing him good as he ran the track, in different creative patterns, distances, etc., according to Rico’s idea of his aptitude. There were no kid’s teams that Dillon could join since Mom wasn’t rich and school baseball didn’t exist. A white guy had not been drafted into the NFL since 2038, so he wasn’t looking to play football. He thought that if he could get a batting coach that his remarkable footspeed might get him a walk-on spot on a Latino semi-pro team, or at least Rico said that was probably his one chance as a white, male athlete.
Dillon had run the 440 twice at an easy pace and when he came to Rico to check his projection record, his coach was looking at the news, projected in a living wedge of color, motion and detail in an arc above his wristphone.
“Look at this shit, Bro,” said Rico, as he stood grinning crookedly in his boxing trunks, boxing shoes and wife-beater. “Can you believe they’re doing it?”
Dillon, barely breathing, looked lazily over the shorter boy’s shoulder to see an image of an aircraft carrier, one of the decommissioned Nimitz Class Carriers, in front of the Statue of Liberty, packed with Africans, the camera panning from the teaming deck and the attendant cruise liners and repurposed military ships, to the harbor line where the people of New York had come out with welcome signs to greet the next wave of American Immigrants. Signs proclaimed, “Make America Great Again—I need a Nigerian!” and such like.
The image then zoomed to the cinnamon-doll president on the deck surrounded by all of the African dignitaries and Rico whistled, “Bro, I’d hit that bitch up in a heartbeat, even though my uncle would cut my dick off. The Prez might be old as my mother, but she’s fine as shit!”
“What do you think about this shit, bro?”
Dillon didn’t like talking about it and just shrugged his shoulders.
“Really, bro,” assured Rico, “I won’t turn your ass in for racism.”
“I know, Rico. It’s jus’ dat ma dad been in prison since I was born en my Ma is all into this as a way to get me a dad, en I don’t really feel like I need no Nigerian dad.”
“What da fuck!?” started Rico, “Your mother is marrying one of these skinnies?”
Dillon shrugged his shoulders, “Yeah, en she says I gotta go down with her to the Inner Harbor today ta meet ma new dad.”
Rico was aghast, “Bro, you a standup dude, white or not. I mean it ain’t your fault that you was born to the race that fucked up this whole planet, brought down the fuckin’ Ice Age on us and whatnot. I’ll talk to my Uncle—he’ll fuckin’ second you, bro, serious.”
A bottle then bounced off of Rico’s head and his wristphone powered down as he put up his fists and said, in his commanding voice, “Bro, go run yo fast ass off en get my Uncle! Skinnies Bro, too many—fucking run, bro!”
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