Roy Edroso

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Roy Edroso Breaks It Down

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June 12

Nor much to tell since last week: Another week of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, of the God Damn Job, and of a slowly reopening Washington. I got my teeth cleaned. The dentist, filling in for the hygienist, put a flat plastic device in my mouth that he referred to as “the fish.” This appears to be the VacuLUX mouthpiece, which reduces the spread of aerosolized particles from the patient’s mouth by 90%, the company claims. As the dentist worked I still saw aerosol clouds and fragments rising from my mouth, though; it’s not impossible that a particle or two got at least close to my dentist’s mask.

It’s amazing how much of everyday life has been a high-wire act because of this thing. When we talk about the long-term effects our pandemic behaviors might have on our psyches and society, we don’t much take into account the fact that we were all made aware of the danger of small, ordinary acts that we could not easily avoid doing, and then did them anyway. Even if the skeptics were right and the real danger was thin, that’s an interesting sort of training, and not necessarily a negative one, either, in facing and overcoming fears. I get trauma, but not all exercise is injurious.

I walked the missus through Union Market yesterday for the first time in over a year. We’re so used to masks that it didn’t reduce the experience or make it strange. It was strangely exciting to point out the changes to one another, shop the fancy dishes, and take a couple home for lunch. I know, it’s high capitalism, a mere simulacrum of an agora, etc. Nonetheless.

Last weekend I went to Black Lives Matter Plaza and they had an actual event: A “No Slide Zone” protest against gun violence, with a band and high-minded exhortations to love and consciousness from the temporary stage. It wasn’t huge, just a few hundred people, and most of the Plaza had the same eerie, depopulated feel it’s had since last summer. But here was some joy, some call and response, some life. And that’s a damn sight better than those fucking high-volume Jesus preachers who’d colonized the entrance to Lafayette Park, and were this day nowhere in sight.

Oh, speaking of Lafayette Park, it’s fully open now — except for the charred bathroom, which remains enclosed. It was the one serious piece of vandalism from the local George Floyd protests (which were characterized as CITIES AFLAME by the usual bad-faith wingnuts) and seems to have been preserved in this state for unknown reasons. (If it’s meant to show how destructive the protests were, I hope its preservationists are prepared to be laughed at.)

See you soon!

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