I walk into the apartment and hear S and E arguing. It sounds like something personal, something I shouldn’t be hearing, until I hear the words “nepotism” and “Ivanka.”
“What are we arguing about?” I ask. S and E are at the table, their plates empty.
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” S says.
One hour later, we’ve moved to the living room, still debating.
I am on the couch, opining about the nature of megalomania and how I take comfort in the fact that Trump is not an ideologue.
I’m not sure if the argument is something I once read on the Washington Post, or something I heard, or if I came up with it myself, but the more I talk the more sure I am of my point.
“Civility,” S says, “what this country needs is civility.”
We trade stories about going to the middle of America–to a farm town in Minnesota, to the prairie fields Nebraska–and how racist they were, how friendly they seemed.
E watches from the blue chair. She is a journalist and probably knows more than both S and I, but she’s more comfortable watching.
“This is what I always do when he gets into heated discussions with one of my friends,” she says, pointing at S. “I end up being moderator. I agree with you in this way, and you in this way,” she says.
“But can I say one more thing?” S asks, as excited as a child. He’s on the wooden floor, his arms wrapped around his legs, so distracted by the discussion he hasn’t made it to the chair.
We all have jobs and bed times. I have to be at the hospital for a day shift. E has to be at the office. S needs to drive back to Connecticut for a morning class.
“Just one more thing.” S says. “I’m sorry. But it’s relevant.”