I'd run into a guy I'd met and worked with on a project about 7 years ago. We hadn’t known each other socially. We got talking, and it turns out he supported (and continues to support) Trump.
So we danced.
We started talking calmly about why we each felt as we did regarding the election, and what's been happening since. Then things heated up.
We moved closer together, then farther apart. We got louder and more intense, then we backed off.
As I write, I just keep seeing the two of us in 18th century formal garb, in an elaborate ballroom, gloved hands separated by a handkerchief, never getting too close as we moved around the floor.
It didn't escape our notice that what was happening in our encounter was happening all over the country – in one way or another.
Each of us had enough interest in not walking away angry, or maybe it was that we each has enough curiosity about how to do this (talk with each other, hear each other), that we were able to stay with it. We kept stepping up and stepping back.
At one point we were going to end and go our separate ways (we'd be in that parking lot for some time). As a gesture, as if to say 'we're good,' he stepped in for a hug. I pulled back. I wasn't ready. I can't now remember what it was I still needed to say, but I needed to say something that I felt he hadn't heard or I hadn't said or was somehow important to me but seemed lost in our exchange.
And again, more committed to ending on a good note than to 'winning,' he let me say what I needed to. And he made a gesture that told me he heard me (maybe he repeated it back...it's funny that I can't now remember).
And then I was ready. We did hug goodnight.
And before we parted, my friend (dance partner?) pointed out that we’d each used the word ‘abhor’ expressing our feelings about the person for whom the other voted. Abhor. Now that's a pretty strong word! That's not simply comment on what's happening in the world around us, that's personal!
Something deeply personal had been tapped into - for both of us, and I suspect for many of us, all across the country, regardless of where on the political spectrum one stands.
So we agreed to step back, to each consider what that level of intensity was about, why we both used the word 'abhor.'
We agreed to resume another day.
We haven't yet, but I suspect we will.