Matt Coleman woke to sirens in the streets and even more boarded-up windows in his neighbourhood as America braced for the fallout from Election Day 2020.
The NSW Riverina man now living in Los Angeles County has witnessed a steady decline in niceties in the lead-up to polling day since moving to the United States two years ago. It's been "an anxiety-driven" time.
"Already today, we woke up to sirens, so it was like 'oh god, is it already happening?'" Mr Coleman, 32, said on Tuesday afternoon local time.
"People are already starting to go a bit yahoo. I know that as soon as the sun goes down there will be fireworks and garbage bombs and all that kind of stuff will start to go off."
The nation is bracing for violence after the election, and it's already visible. It could take weeks for an official outcome to be declared, exacerbating the knife's edge the nation is living on.
Those venturing out of their homes are finding plywood-covered shopfronts as the city bunkers down. Hollywood is a ghost town, Mr Coleman said.
"(Where we live) you would think you're pretty safe away from any untoward stuff, but even our local supermarkets and the banks and (the like), they're all boarding up their windows in readiness for civil unrest and a riot... it's pretty intense over here," he said on Tuesday afternoon local time, just hours before the polls closed.
"Everyone's very high-strung. I liken it to if it's really late at night and you're walking in an alley and you hear footsteps behind you and you're afraid to look back in case there's a murderer, you know, but you're unsure if someone's there or not - that's the kind of heightened anxiety that is not only in LA but in America."
Mr Coleman, an actor who was working on set of the Netflix series Glow when it shut down as the pandemic hit, will spend the next few days at home waiting it out. He's stocked up at the supermarket in anticipation, just in case.
If he could, he'd be voting Democrat, Mr Coleman said, but the outcome of the election is anyone's guess. He's already starting thinking about what happens when the vote comes in; a Trump victory could very well see him and his partner, Eli, pack up and move back to Australia.
"We already sort of have a contingency plan to get out and come home ... (Trump's) America does not support our life, in any case," he said, citing Republican stances on racism, erasure of Black and brown people, women's rights, same-sex marriage, equality for the LGBTQ+ community and health care.
"The things that we stand for and the people we stand up for, we wouldn't be able to stay here and swallow another four years worth of his rhetoric."
People lining up to vote were being heckled, Mr Coleman said. It's the first US election he's lived through, but possibly the most important one in the nation's history.
"It's a very partisan time at the moment - families are divided, people are fighting amongst their friend groups. They're talking about riots in the streets and blaming each different part for that. People have been buying up ammunition and stocking their guns ... so it's crazy in that respect.
"But on the flip side of that, this election has been so important to the American people. I think this is the most important election America's ever had."