Scoundrel Time

How It Ends: The Everything Bagel Seder

The morning after we cast our votes,
informing them
by simple majority,
in the Electoral College,
and in truth
that our liberty has had enough
of being diminished,
ridden roughly,
and otherwise abused
to great delight
of the tax-allergic super-rich
and conquistadors
who speak with goofy accents
and use no articles,
I will go out and get a celebratory bagel.
It will be an everything bagel,
because nothing is more symbolic
of everything
than everything itself.
It—the bagel—will be toasted,
because the smell of garlic on an everything bagel
will express the joy of victory,
our victory over white men in baggy suits,
who seek to quench their thirst for blood
by eating bloodless steaks
while praising their Harley-riding,
beer-bellied God
for His design,
His justice,
and His mercy
as He dispatches winds in tricky currents
that He intends to raise the skirts
of 14-year-old girls
as they suck on lollipops
and Jesus (no relation) weeps.
I will consider elevating my everything bagel
to the lofty status
of a symbol of freedom.
I will build a Seder plate around it.
I will bestow ritualistic significance
upon the everything bagel
and its peripherals:
cream cheese, lox, a few capers.
Also, a tomato and onion, sliced thinly.
I will return to the deli counter
and ask for a paper plate.
I always carry a pen.
With it, I will transform
the humble paper plate
into a Seder plate
of the sort heretofore unknown.
I will inflict this latter-day story of liberation upon my children
and their children,
and maybe even their children’s children,
poor dears,
assuming that any of them
would sit still long enough
to hear this story in full
and play along
to make it their own
and sing songs
as a festive meal is served.
After a few minutes of pondering the everything bagel
and the still-blank would-be
Everything Bagel Seder plate,
I will say, “Fuck it,”
eat the everything bagel,
and go on to have an ordinary day.