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#TheDevilsMalware (The Continuing Adventure of the Gleaner – Episode 7 #AdventCalendar Edition)

The Devil’s Malware 7

Painting of Lovers

7
(We rejoin our hero having a crisis of faith across from the Saks Fifth Avenue holiday display.)

I take a right down 55th Street, heading over to 6th Avenue.

I need a moment away from the crowds. Away from the boisterous orchestral music trumpeting the arrival of the Christmas spirit in panoramic stereo.

I need silence. Something so heart-breakingly rare in this city. And, once you have it, so fleeting.

Think about what Jimmy said.

Jimmy is Truth. Jimmy is Light. Jimmy is Serenity.

He sees what is there…

The rest of us see what we want to see.

Is there no Devil? No plan? No conspiracy to take over the city?

Was the wormhole just a fever dream cooked up by leftover LSD still running through my system?

Just petty delusion?

A broken man desperately searching for any reason to find his way home to see his ex-wife and daughter.

No Devil? No God?

No plan on either side?

No good and no evil?

Just shit that happens?

And we decide what to do with it?

Are the Devil’s plot and the wormhole just a madcap trance where I save the ex-wife and daughter I couldn’t help before now?

Can I even help them now?

I continue to walk down 55th Street toward 6th Avenue.

Do I continue on to Bryant Park?

F-Train express to Forest Hills?

If there’s no plot, why would they want to see me? I don’t need to save them. They don’t need saving.

I see a painting left out in the street. Two lovers gazing into each other’s eyes. The painting has no frame and is sitting ingloriously on top of a pile of trash bags left outside of one of the buildings for the trash collectors to haul away.

My ex-wife and I were like that once. The reason we had a home once. The reason we have a daughter.

I decide to take the painting under my arm and deliver it to my ex-wife.

A gesture of good will. A reminder of better times.

Before I fell away and got lost.

I continue on to 6th Avenue. A lost man carrying a lost painting.

F-Train express to Forest Hills.

Devil’s plot or no plot, I’m getting this painting to Forest Hills.

(Tune in tomorrow for the next installment…)

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