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Comfort Inn

from Food Service by Parker Paul

  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Chrome cassette featuring the full-length album and color artwork. Limited to 100 copies.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Food Service via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Digital Track
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In high school, I was hired by the Comfort Inn to drive their passenger van back and forth from the airport. I lived down the street from the hotel, which was tucked inside the beltway, the beltway that edged my suburb. My very first day on the job,the flouncy white woman who had hired me to be the public face of Comfort Inn, and who hadn't bothered to ask during the interview, anxiously inquired whether I had a driver's license. Small detail.

I was a bellman. A Bell MAN! Because the older Hispanic dude, who did not take the job for spending money, but actually carried a wife and child on his back thought the term bellboy did not denote stature or import.

My third day on the job, I had to drive a black woman past downtown, past the statehouse, through the black ghetto to the Appalachian ghetto to a polygraph office because the woman was accused of stealing jewelry from a guest suite.

I'd seen the woman earlier that day, dishing out scalloped potatoes and Salisbury steak from pressed aluminum pans heated by Sterno during the communal meal in the employee cafeteria. The cafeteria itself was in the bowels of the hotel, a windowless basement past the loading dock and boiler room where a whole lot of black folk worked, doing laundry.

The accused was one of many poor women taking the bus an hour and a half each way, to work for minimum wage, in the suburbs, where the jobs are. She was fired.

Driving her back, back to where I really can't remember, maybe back to pick up her sweater or maybe to a bus stop, I really don't know, I suddenly remembered a news story, a TV news story about the police being able to enter houses where crack was being used to immediately and without impediment seize any children on the property just like the angel of death or a slave trader.

From the book of Lamentations: When all of the prisoners of the land are crushed underfoot, when human rights are perverted, in the presence of the most high, when one's case is subverted, does the Lord not see?


from Food Service, released February 14, 2012


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