Part way through the night, when the TV news anchor spoke about the allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump, the crowd roared with boos and dismissals and I felt fear and rage. I turned to a friend and asked him to walk me out at the end of the night. “I don’t want to be alone in this crowd ok?” “Don’t worry” he told me, “we’re in New York, but of course.” When the TV mentioned the potential fears of Muslim and Latino Americans in the wake of the win, the crowd booed again, and flashed wide rosey grins and laughed amongst themselves.
They did celebrate and jump up and down. But it felt somehow dark and hollow. More subdued than i would have expected. It was almost all college kids. They seemed stupefied not just by the alcohol but by the situation. Like an upset win at a football game. A lot of people were too drunk to walk by the end. In a sea of stilettos one woman hurt her ankle and was being placed on a stretcher as we walked out around 4 am.
Trumps family’s faces were so strange. Frozen as though they had been told to be serious looking when they came on stage. Frozen as though even they were afraid. As he walked down the line to hug them after his speech, I swear nearly everyone flinched when he touched them.
When it was over, 2 men easily 6"3 each shoved me out of the way for a chance to drunkenly stick meaty hands out to touch the new president elect as he was exiting. When I objected their glassy eyes didn’t seem to process.
Afterwards nobody really stayed around to celebrate. They shuffled out in an orderly fashion.
We’ve reaped the benefits of a Frankenstein democracy. We’ve gotten way too comfortable. Hate, fear and greed have been growing around us while we plug in our earbuds and close our eyes. I felt it traveling the country for the primaries this year. I felt it when I moved to New York from North Carolina 15 years ago. We’re in the same place but we’re not the same nation. We don’t see the same things. My nightmare is your dream, and the vice versa.