A few weeks ago, just as I was about to head out the door, my cousin/neighbor/landlord called to tell me that the plumber, who was supposed to be stopping by later in the afternoon to fix my clogged tub, was on his way over that morning instead. As in, “He might even be there now.”
“I’m fifteen minutes away,” Erin says, “if you could just hang around untilI I get there, I’d so appreciate it.” I can do that, I say. As soon as we hang up, Rocco erupts into a barking frenzy at loud pounding on the door. I grab a mask from a basket in the hallway (“what the normalizing fuck?” I think every single time), affix it to my face and open the door. There I stand, mask-to-mask, with blinding white words, TRUMP 2020 emblazoned in blue fabric stretched across the face of a hulking frame.
Good GOD, it’s not Halloween yet. I fight the electric impulse to slam the door in Hulk’s face. Instead, I take a deep breath, try to focus not on the aggressive white words stretched over the mouth, but instead on the blue eyes peering over the rim of the mask. It takes every cell of my being to not blurt out, ”Since when did y’all start taking science seriously?” More deep breaths. I set my brain to repeat: at least he’s wearing one at least he’s wearing one at least he’s wearing one … I lead him to the bathroom, and quickly exit my own apartment. Erin appears a few minutes later, thankfully, relieving me of my duties.
Today, the same plumber is coming back to work on my bathroom again. This time, I had a few days’ warning. This time, I would not be caught off-guard. I left my home before he arrived, but not before creating this display for his viewing pleasure.
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