Lost in Translation


A maid scrubs a bloodstain on a bathroom floor and dreams of her man far beneath the hotel, driving his trash truck through the maze of tunnels. He wears a Hazmat suit and listens to Bob Marley. He sips an energy drink through a retractable straw, doing what a man has to do in sixteen-hour shifts. She scrubs and scrubs, and the stain briefly resembles a birthmark on his thigh, then a portrait from a forgotten history book, then a fist or a faint impression of a lion's heart, before it disappears entirely and the tile gleams blank and spectral. Outside, the sprinklers water the turf all night, and the long windows sparkle like swimming pools filled with black jelly. She feels so lonely she lies down, pitying her man who will have to climb out of the tunnels and come searching for her, down the corridors of new carpet, behind all of the bolted doors, the bloodstains in every other room, the whisk, whisk, whisk of his silver suit. She presses her ear against the cold flohor and listens for the growl of his truck, the hiss of his giant hydraulic arm that reaches out, over and over again, into the darkness.