November 9
New York City

Dear friend, brother, America

This wasn’t the letter that I thought I’d write.

If you had told me 24-hours ago that this would be the state of the world I wouldn’t have believed you. If you had told me that I’d be standing around a computer at school this morning watching a concession speech while my friends and instructors were silently crying, that I’d be telling people things are going to be fine even though I don’t believe they are, that I’d be holding people who are afraid for themselves and for their families, holding people who are afraid of the violence that is coming, that I’d find myself saying over and over again: "this wasn’t supposed to happen", that every single poll and projection was wrong, that I’d be marching along fifth avenue in the rain, between honking cars, my fist in the air, fire in my heart, police shouting, people shouting, signs raised, fear, frustration, and sorrow filling all of us—if you had told me any of that, I woulda said you were crazy.

Last night between 6pm and 4am, while watching CNN, I learned that I am an optimist. In my heart, way deep down, I realized that all my life, despite my grump and cynicism, I believed good wins. Then I realized I was wrong.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen now, and whatever does happen, damage has already been done. The world is changed. The weight of that change is something we will have to carry for the rest of our lives.

I don’t know what to do now. Writing somehow feels wrong. It feels self-indulgent. I should be doing something. I should be helping—I’m still in shock, I think. Eventually things will settle and I’ll figure out my next step, but for now I feel completely ungrounded. Here I am—no, here we are—standing on the edge of America and just trying not to fall.