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#TheDevilsMalware (The Continuing Adventures of the Gleaner – Episode 10 #AdventCalendar Edition)

The Devil’s Malware 10.1
59th Street with Flare 1

10.1
(We rejoin our hero at #CentralPark South.)

I leave the Pond and step out of Central Park.

The Devil I made is the Devil that’s still watching me through his lens in the sky.

I need to get across the river to Queens.

Do I attempt to take the train again? I can catch the R-Train local at Lexington Avenue.
Do I take the train again and risk falling back into the Devil’s cosmic coil? The curve of the Universe that will always lead me back here?
Do I try to take the bus?
Perhaps the Devil only controls the rails.

How do I get off the island?

The Devil’s Malware 10.2
Beast of Burden

10.2
Beast of burden.
I feel you, man!
Carrying someone else’s baggage for a pittance of oats.
Made to trot around for the amusement of strangers.
Perpetually orbiting the park and always ending up back at the same point.
Time and time and time again.
I feel you, man.
But not me.
I’m getting off the island.
Nobody is hitching me to a carriage, condemning me to haul their load in circles ‘til time indefinite.
I’m getting out of Manhattan.

The Devil’s Malware 10.3
The Plaza Hotel

10.3
I cross 59th Street to Grand Army Plaza.
The Plaza Hotel always sparkles like it’s lit for Christmas. All year-round, it shines and shimmers in the dark of night.
It should sparkle all year-round at $900 a night for a room.
It should dance and sing and play stride piano.
It should serenade us to sleep with lullabies of sweet nothings whispered breathlessly into our ears.
We should walk through the lobby and out into the streets of the city light as a feather feeling nothing but unadulterated bliss.
Bliss like the greatest high you’ve ever experienced.
The kind of bliss that Jimmy could only dream.
Bliss unending.
Total contentment.
I’d spend $900 a night for a room like that!

The Devil’s Malware 10.4
Ghost at Grand Army Plaza

10.4
I see a specter next to the fountain.
Is it the Devil?
One of the Devil’s minions?
A ghost?
So many ghosts at Christmastime.
Past. Present. Future.
Things we should have done.
People we should have forgiven.
Lives we should have lived.
Things we shouldn’t have said.
Regret. Regret. Regret.
So many ghosts at Christmastime.

The Devil’s Malware 10.5
Ghost Gone at Grand Army Plaza

10.5
The ghost near the fountain is suddenly gone.
Here and gone.
All at the same time.
Two truths?
Two realities co-existing in tandem?
The ghost is here and the ghost is not here.
All at the same time.
We create God and God creates us.
So…
Where does that leave me?
I need to get off the island.
Take the train?
Take the bus?

The Devil’s Malware 10.6
Queensboro Bridge 1

10.6
I could walk the bridge out of Manhattan.
59th Street Bridge into Long Island City.
I can break the pattern.
I can see if I can get out of this loop.
No train.
No bus.
March onward on foot.
Tread forward and get over the river into Queens.
Maybe I just need to get across the bridge.
Maybe that’s all I need to do.

(Tune in tomorrow for the next installment…)

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