Lost in a Limousinie

I secretly wish the Limousine driver was more attentive to the job in hand than to turning his head. The limo uncoils outside  the airport  “It’s the best hotel in Tempe” he says “The best”. My  flight was nine hours long and I’d just smoked my the first cigarette . It was 2am in my body but 5pm in Phoenix Arizona and  I was enjoying an oxygen deficiency high from the smoke. The drivers words  shot through my head like  a distant steam train. “and it’s one hundred and one degrees”.  He had the habit of repeating the end of his sentences  “one hundred and one degrees”.  Maybe he wasn’t repeating his lines – Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. Playing tricks. On me!

“Here we  are” he says proudly  as the liquidite  limo slows into the car pool “The Mission Palms”.  The  sand coloured hotel had something of the Marriot about it. Something’s wrong.  He is compelled to list the benefits   ” a swimming pool on the roof and….”  but somethings wrong. “the whole shebang and…”  Somethings wrong. It’s all getting slightly  Stephen King. “and the service” Two words come to the back of my mind and get louder  as they try to squeeze out his banter. Twin Palms. Twin Palms.  “It’s the Twin palms Hotel” I say “The Twin Palms”. Silence. “The twin Palms you say” he says stopping mid flow. He checks a  clip board “yes the twin palms”.  And I consider the coincidence of Twin palms and the title of the hit American TV series “Twin peaks”

The driver checks his details. I get that sinking feeling. If The Mission Palms is “the best hotel in Tempe” then I will now be traveelling to  the NOT  “the best hotel in Tempe”. The driver readjusts his mental map out loud ” Oookay. The Twin Palms. Twoo Twooo Five Apache Booolevard”. he is driving and looking down at his clip board  giving me the distinct impression that he is   DeNiro in the famous you twalkin ta me mirror scene in Taxi.

Funny story about DeNiro. He loves black girls and an ex of mine was in Nobu in New York and he got his people to give her his number. She didn’t call. But he got her number and did.

The journey is silent from thereon in except for a ludicrous conversation about…..  “Stones. You call them stones” He shakes his head “Stones. Would you look at that”. For the first time I realise how ridiculous it sounded “yeah I weigh 13 stones”. he shakes his head again. “If you don’t mind my saying sir – that is arcane. Pounds. We weigh in Pounds. Stones” he drops me at the Twin palms and I tip high. Double the  expected tip.   I always tip over the odds on the first ride because it seems a good and respectful way to say hello to a country. It will notbe the same on my return – never is. “Stones. I dunno. G’bye surrr”

The twin palms is small unnassuming and clean.  rather than large impersonal and corporate. Perfect.  It looks out over the Gammage Theatre where I will be performing and it’s central enough. There’s free internet access which rarely happens at the big corporate hotels. The corporate affairs  learn to extract  money out of their customers, like it was the last drop of water in the desert. There’s a swimming Pool out back and a small bar. It’s all good. And their they are The twin palms. Like lovers, like they own the hotel, a family run business.

3 thoughts on “Lost in a Limousinie

  1. I have seen racism in Ethiopia, in Australia, in Zimbabwe, in Northern Ireland, in England, In the Gambia, In Holland, in America, in fact all around the world. I have seen alot of love in those countries too. It is not a human condition, racism, it is learned behaviour. Thankfully there is more love in the world however that is not to deny racisms presence. To deny that it is alive and kicking is to feed it. Not unlike the Alien in the films racism embeds itself sleeps and grows.
    I have felt racsim embedded in myself, in my childhood and have followed blindly its confident and attractive direction. After all if you dislike another culture it must mean you are proud of your own, that your own identity is strong, right? Wrong.
    I have come to realise that denial and defensiveness are the greatest allies of racism. A defensive racist, like an animal that feels attacked, is a dangerous thing – more racist than you can imagine. As my New York friend and poet Dana Bryant says “Denial, is not a river in Egypt”. So your question “if someone is racist without realising it are they really racist”.
    The answer is a clear and unequivecal “yes”. If a person wants to know what racism is and how to spot it simply ask the experts: the people who have had to deal with it their entire lives not as a choice of subject matter but as a matter of survival. You will receive many differing opinions of which mine is only one but on that basis your own humanity will be able to get a clearer picture.
    And there it is, the universal truth – humanity.

  2. World have different opinion in the perspective of “Racism” It's always good to be proud without being arrogant. For the record, Loveing who you are and Loving your Countery does not mean hating other nationalites, There is a huge difference between Patriotism and Nationalism. Like you said, we live in the Universe where you are judged or judging others by colore,looks,etc,when you face such practices Its good to take it as a challenge more than anything else. I did face few times and I was telling myself “Hang in there” there is a saying in Amharich “Kaldeferese AyiTeram” I believe GOD created every one with his/her own gifts and talents. It is the matter of discovering that specific gift and talent of a person and apply it at the right time and space that makes effective personality. Keep admirable personality a live. Peace Ye'hager lij.

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