I never thought I’d see this day. It’s gray and rainy outside, my eyes are swollen from crying, and I feel that I’ve lost a dear, dear friend.
Good bye to the America I thought I knew. Today being American feels shameful in a way I never imagined. The pride I felt voting yesterday has fallen away, crushed into the streets like my “I Voted” sticker that fell off my coat somewhere around the Javits Center.
All my troubles seemed so far away…
Yesterday I thought the first female president would be announced right here in New York City. I was excited! I could witness this historical moment at her victory party at the Javits Center on 11th Ave.
The Javits Center is a giant convention center in midtown Manhattan, far west by the Hudson River. It’s where NY Comic Con is held, “All the best events of fall 2016 happen here!” I joked early in the evening. The convention center is all glass: glass walls, glass ceilings. It was perfect: Hillary would celebrate shattering the metaphoric glass ceiling under a literal glass ceiling!
I joined the crowds of Hillary supporters on 11th Ave yesterday evening. We confidently gathered expecting a party, a historic celebration! It would be a victory filled with cheering and waving flags, and crying for all the right reasons!
Yesterday it did start out that way.
We were all so confident she would win. The mood was already celebratory when I arrived at 7pm. For the first 2 hours, we cheered when the polls closed, we waved our flags and believed all the winning remarks made by speakers.
People wore pantsuits and pussy-cat ears and NASTY WOMAN paraphernalia. It was festive, it was fun! We were lighting up the city!
New York state was called for Hillary mere seconds after the polls closed at 9PM. We cheered, we roared! We celebrated our state (Trump’s home state, HAHA!) for going blue! Something it was always been predicted to do…
This New York minute was my last moment of genuine celebration.
The mood changed swiftly. Soon we were all clutching our flags instead of waving them. Our faces wrinkled in anxiety and our eyes tilted down, searching for glimmers of hope on our phone screens.
There was hope! The moon was shining over the glass Javits Center like a goddess beacon, damnit! She would pull through!
Just In a tighter than we ever imagined. But that would be okay!
As we stared at the inconclusiveness of Florida…Michigan…North Carolina…speeches from the stage began to feel forced. Chuck Shumer and Khizr Khan assured us of a Clinton victory! Their words started sounding rehearsed not reassuring. The crowd mumbled its appreciation instead of cheering. When Hillary’s joyous, entertaining campaign video of “Fight Song” played over the jumbo-tron, I had trouble watching it. She was still fighting, battling it out in states she was projected to win!
“What if she loses this fight?” It was the first moment I let myself think this. I tried to shove the negativity out of my mind. And failed.
She might not win.
This is too close, it won’t be called tonight.
I have to get out of here, it’s depressing as hell. The site of a party when there will be no celebrating tonight…
It’s like no one showing up to your surprise party. On the day your arm was amputated. And then your dog died.
Even if she wins tonight, there won’t be much celebrating. And now I’m saying IF! OH GOD.
I left the Javits Center around 11:30PM when I couldn’t take it any longer. I was not the first to go, the crowds had both quieted and thinned considerably in the past four, nail-biting hours.
I wandered away stunned, in a daze. I couldn’t stop the tears from trickling down my face as I clutched my made-in-China American flag on the subway ride home.
It didn’t look good, but it wasn’t over. Maybe some math miracle would happen while I was underground. I still had hope. Or was it denial?
I got out of the subway, turned the corner on 147th Street, and there, shining one hundred blocks in the distance, I could see the Empire State Building. It was lit up red from top to bottom. That’s how I knew it was over. The building had been flashing red and blue all night, reflecting the red and blue state results as they came in.
I burst into tears, sobbing the 2 block walk back to my apartment.
That was yesterday.
This is Today.
What’s there to say that you haven’t already read or written obsessively on your Facebook or Twitter feed, right? I’m writing this post instead of watching her concession speech, because I can’t bear it yet. I’m so sad and disgusted, heartbroken for the future of my country. I sit here writing, keenly aware of the uterus inside me, knowing men who think they deserve to control my body are soon to be in power. It horrifies me.