A bit after 3:30 am the three of us, the three remaining members of the editorial team in New York, closed up our New York office and headed home. As I was walking up 6th Avenue a man with an iPhone and a headset came up to me asking me, pointing at his iPhone, asking some question. I was bewildered enough by the events of the evening that I had a hard time making sense of anything. He was an immigrant from some African country, not a native English speaker and speaking broken but mainly understandable English.
After several failed starts communicating, I understood that he wanted to know how to listen to the news on his iPhone. He had his browser open to the CNN website. I truly had no idea. He poked around. I suggested a few things. It was hard to understand each other and I had no answer anyway.
I was tired, half numb, out of every kind of energy. Eventually I gave up. I said I was sorry. I didn’t know. And then I said, “But I can tell you what happened.”
“Fini?” Hand gestures.
“Yeah, all done. It’s over. Trump won.”
We looked at each other for an awkward moment, some mix of genial smiles, a bit of recognition or uncertainty. I wasn’t sure. I wanted to know what he thought. But I realized that he didn’t know what I thought. We smiled at each other for a moment and then kept walking our separate ways.