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Dream Boat
American Dreamboat #5
© 2022 James LaFond
The bus whined like a giant mouse as it auto-piloted around past the police barricade at the dock. The place was packed and the only way they got into where the Mayor—who Rico would have said something about banging—was saying her piece about peace and love and making America great again was that mom was a Welcome Wife.
‘Whatever, already, where is the Kang so I can dump this bitch off?’
‘You can actually smell them!’
The odor of thousands of people unwashed for a month or more, packed in the July sun on that deck was like a wall of dog-shit and cat-piss funk.
His mother was oddly quiet, seeming like a mute person, tears wetting her eyes as she looked up worshipfully at the American Dream Boat, which is what everybody was calling it, what the banners and big screens screamed, AMERICAN DREAM BOAT!
The thing was out in the middle of the harbor, packed with black people, actually tilting somewhat to one side where they all rushed to get off and even dropped like ants onto the waiting barges. There was a fight on the one barge and it could be seen that the Africans were armed with machetes, that the barge soon had hundreds of machete wielding men chanting slogans as the police began to melt away.
He looked at his mother, who was not tall enough to see what was going on on the barge but could only see the banners and well-dressed men in their robes on the giant cruise ship which was obviously stuck on the harbor bottom. She could tell by the sound of the crowd and the police leaving and the Mayor’s voice asking for calm, that something was wrong and his mother grew angry, shouting, “Racists, racists police! Let my husband come ashore!”
Other white women in hijabs were screaming the same kind of stuff, as if these crazy women had practiced this like he had practiced his “I spit in your face” speech with Rico.
On an impulse, he grabbed his mother, who somewhere deep inside he felt he loved, because doing this hurt, turned her around by her shoulders as she screamed for her husband, and spit in her face one last time.
She seemed stunned and became quiet again and he turned away in disgust and began dodging through the crowd, under fat hulks, over homeless bums, through women and children, always away from police and skinnies and homeboys and Latinos and began doing the only thing that he knew that he did better than anyone else, which was run, tearing off his fez defiantly.
‘Fuck this place!’
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