Empty unit

Sleepless in my bed, I can see dust, chips of wood and cat hair flung into their faces as the men in masks tear up the carpeting as though it were a gang rape or gold were below it.

In blue jeans and work boots and worn leather belts, they speak Spanish and crack the occasional joke too loudly for this early hour.

I see the rooms stripped down to the old wood floor and then hear hammers pound while the new carpeting is installed by the same crew a day later, the sun pouring in through the curtainless windows and a boom box playing dance songs.

Then early the following morning, the small brigade of cleaning ladies arrives with pump bottles, buckets and rags, and their expressions are solemn while they mop, wipe and scrub away any trace of me then move on.

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