I hard-boiled the turned chicken broth (adding lumaconi from Calabria, a pinch of tarragon, paprika, and pepper). Served with forgotten stale Cheez-Its (pinch-hitting for matzoh), ‘melba-fied’ stale rye with cream cheese, and a tannic syrah; I made a Seder out of it.

Tiny grease ants appeared in groups of three. Ordinarily, I’d commune with them for days, but the house was being inspected by the prospective buyer so I blew them into the sink (my squirt guns were in a yardsale box, though the condo outlawed them). “They’ve been sent by God!” said the subcutaneous narrator to a biblical epic.

A family of deer were nativity-placed in my yard on a “soft spring evening” (with clouds from Port Ligat). The deer was my totem; a gentle, sedentary creature, who can suddenly rear up and kick ass with its hooves. The rattlesnake is my auxilliary totem.

Didn’t Poe’s Roderick Usher torch the place when the house, his family, and his own mind turned on him? I too look forlorn and stupified holding a candle. The family portraits will shrivel and incinerate from white to black, via a cascade of yellows. The ghost of my father (Sebastian Medina to my Nicholas) cries, “DON’T cut your hair the NIGHT before the inspection!” like a petulent Vincent Price.

There are two chairs at my round table. There’s always one for Elijah, the unseen guest. My 2PM mini-Seder didn’t count, as Passover begins at sundown. At 9:30, I replicated the repast—only cilantro served as the bitter herbs (of Paradise bondage). Taboo tomatoes were made kosher with olive oil and salt (which plays a big role, despite the media’s new report about it’s stroke-inducing properties). I put more Cheez-Its in the soup in lieu of matzoh balls (to avoid the chloraformed tap water and my filthy hands rolling them). I nixed the hard-boiled egg, lamb, and Manesheiwitz, which is why I never drank wine (like Dracula) until I was 19.

The house, and all its appliances, was sold on the Ides of March. My three siblings took a “lowball” cash offer (though 30% would go to mortgage, realtors, and fees) 50K below comparable units, despite the market surge. “Look, a spider!” remarked the realtor, then pointed out pinhead tile ruts and cracked AC outlet covers. Maybe the “suppies” will barter themselves into a corner of cobwebs and spider detritus.

The Cheez-Its will sustain me, like baby Kal-el’s molecular density. I have 30 days to decimate 30 years of yard sale and thrift store effluvia, and find a tacky little Chico apartment. Why did The Prisoner’s #12 even want to escape The Village? To roll in Eurotrash like a  cockapoo on a dead hamster? To “roam the Earth, like Caine in Kung-Fu?”