A few days after the election I was running some errands in my neighborhood. On impulse I turned into the driveway of what the whole block had taken to calling “the Trump House,” walked up the front steps and rang the bell.
“I am writing an article about divided neighborhoods,” I said by way of introduction. “I thought it made sense to start with my own.”
Chris Fresiello — the man who’d put up the Trump signs, and applied the Trump bumper stickers to his pickup and hung the Trump flag — invited me in for what became a two-hour chat. Then he invited me back to talk on video, mostly about his Twitter account, which I’d checked out after our first conversation and found far more strident than the man himself.
We ended our video with a handshake agreement to get together again to go over the online comments, which he was sure would lambaste him and I was certain would be hateful toward me. It took us a while to reschedule — there were nearly 10,000 comments to go through — but we did so this week to talk about everything from the names people feel free to call each other online to whether Donald Trump means what he says, and whether that matters.
Chris and I disagree on many things, but we are on the same page about this: We need to keep talking to each other. So we shall, periodically, as the new administration unfurls.