Thursday, February 2, 2017

Renovation 2













Picture Legend

1. Renovation
2.  Rockhaven Sanitarium for the Copiously Insane
3. The Las Americas
4. Break time for Renovation workers
5. 15lb dumbbell
6. Dirt Devil
7. Office chair
8. Optimus heater
9. Cassandra R.I.P.
10. Lauren R.I.P.
11. Alison R.I.P.


   I checked out of Rockhaven on September 30th, a Friday, and returned to my lonely room at the Las Americas.  
   On October 3rd, a Monday, with all my possessions already packed up, I took apart my computer and hauled it down to Hardy’s room where it would rest up for the day while my room was being painted.
   At 8:00am Tommy and two SRHT maintenance workers came to my room, Tommy telling them they had to move everything out and into room 332, just down the hall from my room. The workers didn’t seem all that thrilled about doing it, which was sad.
   I left the building and caught a bus downtown. I bought a half gallon of milk from Rite-Aid, and a breakfast buritto from the Breakfast  Buritto Store, then went on up to my sister’s room on the 6th floor of the hotel she lives in. The security person at the front door now knows me, and let me right in.
   My sister had been back to Bullhead City recently, and had brought back her computer and microwave oven. The oven was now operational.
   We watched MSNBC mostly. My sister was on her phone quite a bit, trying to get through to some health provider, and was thusly preoccupied for most of the morning.
   At 12:00n I left the building and caught the Red Line to Union Station, then walked across Alameda to the VA Clinic, and the 1:00 Depression Group with Dr Kimberly.
   Afterwards I walked to the Las Americas. My friend Cliff was sitting out front, which is unusual. He told me that the painting of my room had been canceled 10 minutes after I had left.
   “You’re fucking kidding, right?!”
   He wasn’t.
   Tommy should have my number so I don’t know why he hadn’t called me. Near 4 o’clock he strolled into the building.
   “What’s up Tommy?”
   “What’s up with what?”
   “With the painting!”
   “I don’t know man. All I know is that they called and told me they weren’t going to touch it today.”
   “Well, I’m getting my per diem right? Where’s Lauren?”
   “I don’t know. I’ll have to talk to her about that.”
   “Well it’s almost four now...”
   “Oh, she won’t be coming today. I can guarantee you that.”
   So this sums up the situation. I did everything I was supposed to do. I am an innocent little lamb, but I am not silent. I missed a day of work. I had to pay to have my computer hooked back up, which my friend Mike did that afternoon. SRHT, via Lauren didn’t bother to explain the situation to me, or apologize, plus they screwed me out of the $35 per diem.
   So I can’t trust them anymore, and will no longer be as cooperative as I once was.
   Why should I?
   And that’s how it stands. Nothing at all has been done this entire month in my room. I’m still have eight big holes in my walls, no window blinds or towel rack (I ask you, how can I torture my towels without a rack? It’s like impossible, right? I suppose I could strappado the hell out of them, but there’s so much effort involved) I have finally unpacked some of my boxes. I play cards with the cockroaches time permitting.
   At a residence meeting yesterday Lauren showed up and spoke of fumigation.
   We shall see.

10-24-16
   Tommy came to my room at about 3:00pm and gave me the following letter:
To: All residents at the Las Americas
From: Skid Row Southeast 1 Staff
Date Oct 24, 2016
Re: Construction Schedule Update Community Meeting

Dear Resident,

In order to decrease the impact of in-unit construction on each resident we will be temporarily relocating residents within the building for 1-2 weeks. We will have a mandatory community meeting on Tuesday October 25th, 2016, at 2:30pm to discuss the upcoming schedule, the temporary relocation plan, and answer any additional questions or concerns you may have about the work. Pizza will be served after the meeting.

Sincerely,

Skid Row Southeast 1 Staff

   Pizza!

   The meeting was rather contentious. A few of the residents, some quite vocal, didn’t want to be moved at all (you would think that grown adults (especially one very loud female) would learn throughout their lives that yelling, shouting, and using extremely offensive language in a liberal fashion is not a good way to make a point, or to have your point taken seriously. Most folks don’t wish to engage in conversation with a woman who is screaming at you, using the words “fuck,” and “motherfucker,” vigorously. This particular woman would probably benefit form a Anger Management Class. 
   There were a few residents that stated they would not move, at least four as a matter of fact. They refused to sign a “Notice to Temporarily Vacate,” that stipulated quite clearly that “If you do not vacate the premises by that date [for me that date was 11-22-16, and my expected return to my unit 12-16-16], the Developer [SRHT] will be forced to initiate legal proceedings to recover possession of the premises, along with rents and damages.”
   Still these residents persisted, vowing to seek their own legal counsel.
   Well, good for them.
   Lauren and her minion, Alison, sure earned their pay fielding all sorts of questions, and a great deal of venting. Lauren had to shout once, as did her boss Richard, as the dissenters just wouldn’t shut up.
   I had typed out a list of my own grievances, of which I had many, that I had planed to present to the “Skid Row Southeast 1 Staff,” but as it turned out, I became reluctant to add to the general chaos that manifested itself throughout the meeting, and I was beginning to feel sorry for Lauren and Alison.
   And my concerns were addressed. It was made known to me that those residents who already had Internet and cable T.V. in their rooms would have it in the temporary quarters as well, which would be an empty room on a different floor. Room 116 on the first floor was indicated for me, right next to Tommy’s office.
   I do have a concern that that room is too small to properly house all of my belongings, while at the same time allowing me to inhabit.
   We shall see.
   On November 1st I emptied all of my drawers, putting the contents into various plastic bags. I emptied my dresser, laying the clothes onto my bed and covered them with plastic bags. Big bags.
   This was the preparation I had been told to make prior to some good people from a company called Isotech coming to my room in order to fumigate for pests, most notably cockroaches. I was to leave my room for two hours after they finished.
   A little after 8:00am they arrived, and I returned to my sister’s for a little while.
   I came back at eleven, and put all of my stuff away.
   The cockroaches returned, laughing at the fumigation effort. 
   
To Skid Row Southeast 1 Staff

This is in regards to the notice I received at 3:30p on Nov 14, 2016, informing me that this Isotech company is coming again on Nov 15 between 9am and 12n to treat our units a second time (a treatment that has actually increased the number of pests in the building), and that we are to make the same invasive preparations, and vacate our units. This information was given with less than 24 hours notice and is completely unacceptable. I pay rent to use and live in my unit, and not to vacate it at your whim. I work in my unit (not a business). When I'm am asked in such a cavalier manner to take the time and effort to prepare, and then be required to leave for at least two hours, this is an undue burden placed on me and all of the residents. Especially considering the treatment is ineffective. You are wasting funds on this. The only reason there so many pests in the upper floors of the building is due to the current construction being done which has driven them up from the basement. Before construction began there were very few problems. If you wish to remove the building of pests then the entire building must be tented and fogged. Unless you are willing to do this, I see no point in compiling. I will make no preparations (preparations, by the way, that were not provided on the notice. I suppose we are just to remember what to do), but will leave my unit for the time specified since I have little choice in the matter. If you persist in this fashion I will have little choice but to document these actions (which I've already been doing in an ongoing manner, and which you can read yourself here: joycestake.blogspot.com/   search for "Renovation"), and report them to the Housing Authority, which does enforce the 24 hour notice rule. I regret to take this action, and have been a model resident for almost 13 years now, but you leave me little choice. Sincerely, Richard Joyce Unit 329

   The bug people coming was nothing compared to November 28th.
   As indicated above this was supposed to have happened on the 22nd, but I got a letter on my door announcing the postponement sometime before the 22nd, the 18th most likely.
   Okay, I was to have all of my stuff packed up, again, by the morning of the 28th, a Monday. I didn’t do any of that as I had been sick the entire weekend. Indeed, when Cassandra knocked on my door at about 7:30 on the morning of the 28th, I looked haggard, tired, and a tad deranged.
    “I don’t feel good at all Cassandra. Is there any way we can do this tomorrow instead?” I asked her.
   “I don’t think so,” she replied. “But you can talk to Alison. She’ll be here in a moment... oh here she is...”
   Indeed, Alison came up the hall and I asked her the same question.
   “No. We’re going to have to do it today. The movers are here. But I tell you what. If you’re not feeling well, you can go sit down out back and the movers will pack everything up and take care of everything. Okay?”
   “Ah, okay.”
   I closed the door and finished dressing.
   I was stressed out. You see I’m borderline agoraphobic, and having my room interfered with, in any way, made me nauseous. I’m sure that is why I had been sick, sick in anticipation of my world about to be screwed with.
   I called my sister, explained the situation, and asked her if I could come over. She said I could.
   I left immediately, wearing the same dirty clothes I had been wearing for the last three of four days. I caught a bus downtown, getting off at 5th and Broadway.
   I walked the couple of blocks it takes to get to the residential hotel my sister has lived in for the last year. I took the elevator to her floor and knocked on her door.
   She was watching the movie “Christine,” Stephen King’s story about a demonized car.
   I didn’t have to stay there. My stuff had been moved downstairs to Room 116 by now. But if I did go back then I’d have to deal with configuring all the boxes, and... stuff that I had, and set up my computer and TV, and I didn’t feel up to doing any of that at that particular point in time.
   I so I stayed with Cheryl, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes, and watching TV. I asked her if I could spend the night.
   “What are you doing? Growing a beard?”
   “No. I jus haven’t shaved for a while.”
   That was true. I hadn’t shaved for awhile.
   “Don’t you want to take a shower? You look sweaty.”
   “No. I’ll take one in the morning.”
   “Are you sure?”
   “Yes. Why? Do I smell?
   “Yeah.”
   “Sorry.”
   She ordered take out that evening, pizza I think, but I couldn’t eat any thing. I couldn’t eat anything until the next day. I couldn’t sleep either, staying up all night with the television on. The next morning I showered. Later, when she was doing her laundry, she proclaimed, “It’s not you that smells, it’s your clothes.”
   “Sorry.”
   I asked her if I could stay one more night. She didn’t like it, but she let me. She forced me to watch shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” and “All in the Family,” over and over again, as a form of retaliation. I remember watching “World War Z,” and “Jack Reacher,” as well.
   My appetite improved and I started to eat, which made me feel much better. By the morning of the 30th I was feeling semi-normal.
   I showered, Made sure the coffee pot was ready to go whenever Cheryl got up. Sat down and watched “The Aviator.”
   At around 9am we both left her apartment. She bought me a breakfast buritto at the Buritto Store across the street. She bought herself some cigarettes and a BLT.
   Then I left. I went to the Faris store on the corner of Broadway and 5th and bought some new pants. I caught a bus back to my place filled with anxiety about what I would find in my new room.
   Hardy was sitting out in front. That’s all he does now ever since they took the T.V. away.
   Poor Hardy.
   Tommy came out.
   “Joyce! Where have you been?!”
   “At my sister’s.”
   “When I get back I got a hundred dollars for you.”
   “You do? Why?”
   "They decided to give everyone who moved some money for the inconvenience, but I gotta go to the office right now, so come and see me in a little while.”
   “Ah, alright.”
   Well, that was welcome news.
   I opened the door to 116.
   Boxes everywhere. The movers had left the refrigerator unplugged, so that was the first thing I did, cutting off the plastic wrap the movers had used to secure the door.
   I frantically began looking through the boxes for my computer and found one that had the components in it.
   I looked at all of the boxes around me and felt overwhelmed. Where to start? What do I need to unpack?
   I checked the wall heater, it was off. It looked broken. It wouldn’t turn on, and it was cold at night.
   It was cold then.
   Then I noticed something.
   I went next door to Tommy’s office. He was in there with his assistant Kevin. Cassandra was in there too.
   “Tommy,” I said. “My office chair is missing.”
   “It is?”
   “Yeah. You have any idea where it could be?”
   “No.”
   “Alison assured me that if I left everything would be moved...”
   “What kind of chair is it?” Kevin asked.
   “It’s like the one you’re sitting on, but black.”
   There was nothing they could do. Tommy said he would check all of the rooms the next time the exterminators came to do the hotel.
   Yeah, right.
   Okay, that was one $150 chair gone.
   But much worse, the black satchel that had been under my bed, and that contained the hand written manuscript of Skid Row Diary was missing.
   Fuck!
   How could the movers mess that up. The value of the manuscript, well there was none, or rather it was invaluable, and it cannot be replaced.
   Half of the book had been published on Joyce’s Take already, but now I didn’t have the second half. Not unless it was in one of the boxes and I hadn’t seen it yet.
   I’d find that out soon enough, so I put that out of my mind, and called AT&T to make sure my service had been transfered to the new room.
   AT&T asked me for my telephone number, which I couldn’t remember, so I called my sister to find out what my own phone number was.
   The good people of AT&T that I talked to on the phone, who were actually in the Philippines, tried to sell me a different form of service, which I told them I didn’t want. They’re always trying to sell something because customer service representatives get more money if they make a sale. 
   I finally got them to send a technician, but they wouldn’t be able to get here until Thursday morning.
   Shit!
   I called my friend Mike, and asked him to come over and help me. Fortunately he was sober, and said he’d be right over.
   I sat back for a moment and ate half of my buritto, then smoked a cigarette.
   The janitor, Jose, who hardly speaks any English stopped in the hallway outside of my open door and looked in.
   “Not good,” he said.
   I just looked at him.
   “No. Not good.”
   “Tommy. My heater needs to turned on,” I told him in his office.
   “I’ll put in a work order.”
   “You put in a work order for my other room three weeks ago and they haven’t come,” I reminded him.
   “Your kidding,” Kevin said.
   “No.”
   “All I can do is put in a work order,” Tommy said.
   Cassandra sat there, lost in the world that was her smart phone.
   After talking to some of the other residents, I found out that none of the heaters were working in the whole building, and it was freaking cold at night!
   Freaking cold! That’s a technical term.
   My neighbor Arnold, a 76 year old white gentleman with a conservative bent, told me that on Monday an AT&T tech had come and switched over the service to the new room and that all I had to do was connect my modem to the wall jack.
   Well that was good news. I wouldn’t have to wait until Thursday to get back on the Internet, or watch TV for that matter.
   Mike got there. I gave him the half of the breakfast buritto I hadn’t eaten because apparently he was low on food at home.
   Then we started to move things around.
   Mike is good at configuring things. We arranged the boxes on top of each other. The bed was put against one wall, my desk along another one near the wall jack.
   I emptied the box with the components and Mike began to put everything together.
   I have Mike do this because what takes him 20 minutes to do would take me about three hours.
   My sister for some reason doesn’t like it that I use Mike in this fashion because I pay him to do this.
   “I’ll go down there myself and put it together. I’t’s not rocket science!”
   I don’t know why it bothers her. It’s not her money. It’s really none of her business.
   She’s not the most pleasant person in the world.
   “I’m crabby,” she told me herself yesterday.
   I’m certainly not going to argue with her about that.
   “I don’t see the modem Mike.”
   That scared me. If the movers had lost my modem I would be screwed.
   I frantically looked through some of the boxes... and found it.
   Pretty soon Mike had everything set up on my desk.
   “Okay. Everything’s set up except for the telephone cord
   “Telephone cord?”
   “Yeah, telephone cord.”
   “Fuck!”
   We checked the boxes again. No cord.
   “Fuck!”
   “Maybe it’s still in your room,” Mike said.
   “I don’t know. I didn’t see anything up there...”
   “Well...”
   “I’ll go check.”
   I went up to the third floor, to my room. Two guys were working in there.
   “Is there a telephone cord in here?”
   “Right there.” One of the men pointed to a green cord lying on the floor near the telephone jack.
   “Oh wow, thanks.”
   I took it downstairs and gave it to Mike who installed it.
   And the modem initialized. Good deal!
   I got the Internet and T.V., but no sound on the television. We couldn’t figure it out. But I let it go for the moment. I at least had the computer working so I could watch movies, and work, and wouldn’t have to sit around in my room with my thumb up my butt doing nothing until the tech came here on Thursday.
   As a matter of fact I didn’t need the tech to come at all really. I’d have to call AT&T and cancel.
   I was able to give Mike $20 right off with some of the money Tommy had given me. He went home.
   Living right next to Tommy insured a steady stream of people passed my door to get to his office.
   I kept my door open a crack, as is my custom, and played with my computer. As the day wore on it turned into evening, then night. And it got cold.
   I watched the movie “Arrival,” the story of space aliens who can travel interstellar distances, but can’t figure out our language.
   Based on a true story I’m told.
   I doubled up on blankets and went to sleep, or tried to sleep, at about ten, leaving the movie on (it was recycling over and over again, and would do so until the end of time unless acted upon). The silent T.V. was on as well. It and the computer provided some light in the small room.
   At approximately 2am I dreamt that my left leg and foot were cramping up on me. This dream continued until I woke and discovered my left leg and foot were cramping up on me. I got out of bed and walked it off, which took almost 5 minutes, which was weird, as leg cramps don’t usually last that long.
   I noticed the T.V. was off, and that I had a red light on my modem. One red and one green, which meant I was not connected to the Internet.
   I fooled around with the computer, checked all of the connections, nothing worked.
   I couldn’t figure out why I would be disconnected now having been connected just a little while ago.
   Jesus.
   The tech would be here the next day. He could fix it.
   Until then all I would have to help pass the time were movies that were already on my computer. I had quite a few, which would keep me from joining Hardy out front watching the cars go by.
   I took a shower up on the second floor as there were no showers on the first (the next day, Thursday morning,  I would go to this shower and find an “Out of Order” sign on the door, so I went to the third floor shower. The thing is we then had one shower for the entire building (about 30 residents). The construction people were still working on the two shower restrooms on the north part of the building. They had been working on those rooms for like the last eight months).
   Later in the day I would buy a floor heater online (paying for it through PayPal, who had been dumb, ah, er nice enough to give me some credit). I would also buy a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner, a 15lb dumbell, and another office chair ($130).
   There was only one good thing about living on the first floor, and that was the microwave in the kitchen was close by. Usually I have to travel down two flights of stairs to get to it, and then climb two flights of stairs to get back to my room.
   But I was used to that, having done it for almost thirteen years.
   I would continue to freeze my cute, little, fluffy white ass off at night.
   And I would continue to watch “Arrival” over and over, getting really into it and it’s haunting beauty.
   Thursday morning came. Construction people came to put blinds on the windows, and a new faucet in the sink. New faucets had been installed about two months ago, faucets that turned off automatically, and which were really unpopular. The new new faucets would stay on until turned off. There was one slight problem. They were high, about 7 1/2 inches off of the sink, so high the new medicine cabinets could not be opened after the faucets were installed. So the cabinets had to be lifted up a tad. Apparently I was the first to receive one of these faucets as the construction people first discovered the faucet/med cabinet relationship in my room.
   The AT&T tech arrived. I told him that when I had first set up the computer I had connected to the Internet, and that it had gone down during the night. He said he needed to find the cable box, and I had Kevin open the Electrical Room for him.
   He had trouble finding the connection. The wiring seems to be a bit antiquated.
   “If you can get these construction people to install new wiring that would be great for the whole building,” he told me and Levin.
   I said, “Yeah, well, having watched these guys I wouldn’t say they were exactly bursting with ambition.”
   The tech guy eventually got the Internet up and running, and the T.V. back on. I asked him about the sound on the television, and he said he didn’t know why it was down, that it might be the T.V. itself.
   Later I would fiddle with the speaker connections and the sound came back.
   I am a mechanical genius.
   And there it was. The days rolled on as days tend to do.
   The first package that arrived was the 15lb dumbell.
   Tommy was out front when the UPS driver arrived, and he took the package from him. I walked up to the corner and saw Tommy near his car which he parks across the street in a nearly empty parking lot.
   “Richard,” he called. “Come here.”
   I walked over to him and he handed me the cardboard box.
   “You owe me big time,” Tommy said. “This thing’s heavy.”
   “Yeah, about fifteen pounds or so.”
   I didn’t open the box but placed it in my temporary room to let the movers move it to my other room on the 16th.
   Next came the chair, then the Dirt Devil. Both of which I left in the shipping boxes.
   Finally the heater came, and I opened that box! Thereafter my nights were nice and toasty.
   Technically residents are not allowed to have any devices that produce heat in their rooms.
   Screw that! Everyone was complaining about how cold it was at night, and if SRHT maintenence wasn’t going to turn on the heaters, well I for one was going to be proactive in conserving my precious body heat.
   The days wore on. I was given notice that my move back to my permanent room would be postponed, from the 16th to the 20th, a Tuesday.
   When the 20th finally arrived I had Mike come over early, at 7:30am, and we disconnected the computer and T.V., put them in a box, and moved them upstairs ourselves.
   At 8:00 the movers showed up. I had Mike stay upstairs to show them where the bed, and dresser, etc., all went, and to try to make sure that everything showed up.
   I stayed downstairs to make sure they got everything this time.
   The movers knowing they were being watched were less likely to mess things up.
   During this process I overheard the lead renovation person complain to Tommy that he was missing several thousand dollars of building materials, a lot of it made of copper, which of course has value as a recyclable.
   Tommy checked his tapes from the security cameras and saw one of our residents taking these things from the back yard area. Apparently Tommy confronted this person at his room, and discovered this material in it.
   Tommy came back down and asked the lead renovation person if he wanted to get the police involved.
   “Absolutely.”
   As they were moving my stuff out my ex-case manager, Henry, said this to me, “Now all we need is the key.”
   “Ah... I think I lost it,” I told him.
   That was true. I had it yesterday. It was on my key ring along with my keys to my old room, and the front door. But when I checked this morning in preparation to turn it in, it wasn’t there anymore.
   I have no idea what happened to it, though I have a sneaky suspicion that it evaporated.
   When the last of my stuff was taken upstairs I joined Mike there. He hooked everything up, and the modem, of course, did not initiate. That meant that my Internet service had not been switched back, which Lauren and Alison were supposed to have taken care of.
   I tracked down Alison and asked her about it.
   “Oh, they’ll be here. I made an appointment.”
   Cool.
   When Mike finished he left. I walked downstairs with him. Outside, Tommy, Hardy, my neighbor Arnold, and a couple of other guys were standing around. So were a couple of police officers, who were busy processing Larry, the guy who had stolen all of the copper. Larry was handcuffed and about to be taken away.
   What a dumb ass. It must be said though that his actions were perfectly in line with his personality.
   I returned to my room. It had been painted at least. A metallic grayish blue. This meant there would be no need to move my stuff out again.
   That was good. There were still a couple of holes in my walls. An air conditioner / heater had been installed on the western wall near the ceiling and my window, although it was not operable yet. A little fixture that looked like a metal upside down hook was affixed to the wall near the medicine cabinet, which I supposed was my new towel rack. I had the new faucet and blinds of course. All I had to do was unpack.
   But no!
   I had been given notice that very soon my dresser and desk would be replaced with a new dresser and desk. If I filled my old ones up with stuff, I’d just have to empty them later.
   So in the boxes my stuff remained.
   There were boxes on my bed that I didn’t feel like moving, so for the next couple of nights I slept on a yoga mat on the floor.
   First, they switched out the bed I had slept on for over 12 years.
   One morning the bed people came and took away my twin bed. So for about twenty minutes I was without a bed. I was essentially bedless.
   When they came back they brought a full size bed frame. they brought a full size mattress as well, and while they were trying to get the bed frame on the floor, the mattress was standing upright in my doorway.
   They were having a problem getting the frame on the floor though due to all of the boxes which were taking up space. They said they were not allowed to move the boxes themselves, so they left the frame leaning against the wall and took off.
   Lauren came in and said I had to move some of the boxes out of the way.
   Well I always do what Lauren says, she has that kind of power over me. I moved the boxes enough so that the bed people could finish their work.
   Except they never came back.
   At 3:30pm I got tired of waiting for them and went downstairs to see what I could see.
   I couldn’t find the bed people at all. I went to Tommy’s office and asked when the bed people would finish in my room.
   “They haven’t put your bed in yet?!”
   “No.”
   “Why didn’t you say something,” Tommy asked me.
   “Why exactly am I supposed to say something? These guys are the professionals and are supposed to do their jobs right?”
   “Well they’re gone.”
   “The bed people are gone?”
   “Yeah.”
   Lauren’s boss, Richard was in the office, and he took over, and he and Kevin came up to my room and laid down the frame and put the mattress on top of it.   
   Then they left.
   I looked at my bed. It sure was big, big for my room at least. Bigger than I needed.
   The next day I got linen (a fitted sheet (which took me about a half hour to get on), a sheet... a regular sheet), a blanket, pillow, and pillow case. I now had three pillows.
   They also switched out my desk, and dresser. The movers arrived at 8:00 and moved out my empty dresser.
   I had hoped to leave my computer intact, but wound up having to take it apart due to all of the wires being treaded in holes in the back of my old desk. After they took the desk I tried to hook it back up, to no avail. Nothing worked, and I didn’t know why.
   I called Mike and asked him to come right over.
   “Let me have a cup of coffee first,” he said.
   “Sure.”
   I kept fiddling with the computer finally get it turned on, and so was able to watch movies.
   I called Mike back, and told him since I at least had movies, he could come a little later if he wanted. He told me he’s be over around 10:00.
   Mike arrived, but the new desk had not.
   We sat on my floor and watched Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.”
   A worker brought in what looked like a 20 x 35 inch piece of mahogany pressboard, and leaned it against the wall. Then he took off.
   He came back a little later and attached that pressboard directly onto my wall. That was my new desk. No drawers mind you, just a 35 inch wide piece of pressboard sticking 20 inches out from my wall 27 and a half inches off of the floor.
   It was pretty solidly attached, but still, no drawers.
   Shortly thereafter workers brought in a 16 x 20 x 20 3/4 inch night stand, which matched the desk, and had two small drawers. We put this under the desk.
   Then Mike got to work, setting up my computer on the desk, and the T.V. on the third tier of a four tier shelving unit that was right next to the desk. 
   We got everything up and running, and I was happy.
   A boy and his computer.
   Alison came in and gave us each a caramel lollypop.
   That was nice of her.
   Mike left. Four days later I unpacked my boxes, and my little, lonely room looked somewhat normal again.
   Except for the holes in the walls.
   The construction people have left me alone pretty much since then.
   They came in once and attached a hose from the air conditioner to the sink.
   But that was pretty much it.
   They were still out there though. I could hear them. Hammering. Sawing. Making a general nuisance of themselves.
   New people were entering the building, taking residence in the empty rooms. They got microwave ovens within a week of their arrival because they are on a different program than the residents who have been living here awhile.
   That just seemed wrong. I’ve been here thirteen years, and someone who hasn’t even been here two weeks gets a microwave before I do! WTF!
   Since these people have arrived the toilets have been clogging up.
   Jesus.
   All of us are supposed to get new refrigerators. I was told that Henry was going asking people if they would mind a refrigerator that was a little smaller. I panicked. I thought they might try and give us those itty bitty refrigerators like the ones we had when I first moved in.
   I wrote an Email to Henry asking him about this. I also asked him about our air.
   The construction workers wore face masks at times, and I was wondering if the residents were breathing hazardous materials.
   No one has answered me on that, but Henry assured me the new refrigerators were only a little smaller than the ones we currently have.
   Good.
   The work on the building continues.
   Just yesterday I was bringing a nice tasty turkey burger up the first floor stairs. A worker on some kind of scaffold was cutting holes in the bottom of the second floor stairway, blocking my way. I eased past him, but slipped on the top step and crashed down onto the floor.
   “Are you Okay?” the worker asked.
   “Yeah.” I got up and moved on, having saved my burger.
   We had a resident meeting yesterday as well. My new case manager (yes, Cassandra is no longer with us), LaShunda, a beautiful and young black lady, was there. Tommy, Henry. Their boss Richard. Two other guys came a little late, Ben and John.
   Apparently Ben had been Lauren’s and Alison’s boss. He explained the Lauren and Alison were... no longer with the company, and that he would be filling in for a while.
   Huumm. Very suspicious.
   I know how SRHT treats their employees if they have been deemed unworthy, or have failed in a particular task, especially in this age of Trump.
   It’s not pretty. Usually they are never heard from, or seen again.
   Ben told us that he hoped all of the work in hotel should be done by May, at the latest.
   We shall see.
   We then got half of a ham sandwich, tortilla chips, and a donut, and sent on our way.  
   I’m proud to say that I gave my donut to Hardy as I am on a new diet that frowns on donuts.
   Five more months to go  before this nightmare is finally over.
   Or will it be?
   No one knows for sure. But I will be around to report.
   You can be sure about that.


   This post is dedicated to the memory of Cassandra P. 1990 to 2017, Lauren M. 1988 to 2017, and Alison B. 1991 to 2017.

  Thank you for all that you did.

   You will not be forgotten.

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