It took us 2 hours to get to Albany, which is about how long it normally takes when we’re not driving through post-apocalyptic America. But the interstate was pretty empty going north so we didn’t have any problems with traffic. But then again, halfway through the ride, I realized the reason no one was going north was because nobody in their right mind was trying to stay behind and go deeper into North America. Everyone was driving south to Mexico. We were the only crazy idiots trying to get our Walking Dead on and try to blow these Natives out the water. Well, Mark and his friends. Akeem definitely wasn’t. And I was starting to reconsider.
An hour into the ride, we drove into a checkpoint where a line of jeep wranglers was blocking the road. There were people standing in them holding rifles and some people walking around in front of them on the road. They were all wearing wooden masks that looked like smaller versions of Native American headdresses.
One of them walked towards the jeep and Mark pulled down the window.
“Don’t say anything stupid,” I told him from the backseat as I held your hand next to me.
“Whatever,” he laughed me off. Then he turned to the guy at the window. “How can I help you, uh…Officer Native?”
I palmed my face and groaned. He was gonna get us killed.
“I’m not a Native,” the guy said. And I heard something unexpected in his voice. And then I saw his neck, the only part of him that wasn’t covered by the mask. He was black.
“Sorry,” your father went on. “It’s hard to tell, you know?”
“We’re Wasichu,” the guy went on.
I didn’t know what Wa-see-choo meant, but it didn’t sound friendly. Then he looked through the window at Akeem then at me in the back. “Kamama gave blacks who crossed over the antidote so we not goin’ down when the rest of y’all…” he looked back at your father. “…get infected.”
I was surprised and honestly impressed at how quickly Kamama was moving. These Wasichu were immune to the virus so he had an army of blacks and latinos loyal to him to the end because they literally owed their lives to him. And now they were policing checkpoints across the country making sure nobody was trying to do anything stupid—you know, like go upstate and build a small army of crazy white people to kill Indians.
“So where you going?” the Wasichu asked your father.
“The roads to Mexico are crammed,” he replied, cool as can be. “So we’re gonna go get a boat from a friend’s house so we could sail to Greenland instead.”
The Wasichu looked at him, then at us in the backseat then went off to discuss it with the group in front of the car.
“Greenland?” Akeem asked.
“I didn’t hear you sayin’ anything,” your father snapped.
“No, that was pretty smart,” I admitted. “First time for everything, I guess.”
The minutes crawled by and I was sure the Wasichu didn’t buy it. I grabbed your hand and put my fingers around the door handle, ready to hop out if something went down.
The Wasichu walked back to the car, gave the door a pat and waved us on.
Your father tipped an imaginary hat to him as the jeeps parted and let us pass.
“Told you,” he said as he drove away.
But Akeem kept shaking his head.
“This is a bad idea,” he said over and over again.
And boy, was he right.