I found out Donald Trump had won the Electoral College while midstream in providing a urine sample for the emergency psychiatric staff of a New York City public hospital. The unlockable bathroom door in this unescapable wing was ajar, and I could hear the victorious Mike Pence’s sinister Sunday-school baritone taunting me with the truth from the hallway television.
For the preceding witching hours of election night, I had lain in a fetal position amidst a cast of anonymous men nursing their own crises, my hands clasped tightly over my ears. It wasn’t that I minded the howls of the guy nearby who was shackled to his cot and monitored by an unimpressed brood of policemen. Instead, I wanted to spare myself any word of the far greater insanity unfolding beyond the hospital walls.
Drained of tears, too tired to sleep, I stared at the fluorescent ceiling lights —which, indifferent to our suffering, remained on throughout the night — and endured the passing time by willing my thoughts to vanish into the dull glow.