#TheDevilsMalware (The Continuing Adventures of the Gleaner: Episode 17 #AdventCalendar Edition)

The Devil’s Malware 17.1

Devils Monster Face cropped 2 w effects


(We rejoin our hero trapped in yet another pocket of quantum stasis outside of the space/time continuum that resides somewhere near the corner of Queens Blvd. and Queens Plaza.)

You’ll say I’ve gone soft in the head.
Of course, you will. You can’t see anything through any other eyes but your own. And we all got to hope that we can still trust what our eyes show us.

Because everything’s real and nothing’s real.

Through your eyes, I’m just a homeless madman in a panicked fever dream.
Just a maniac with delusions of grandeur to get him through his solitude.

Seeing the Devil wherever he looks.

Because there’s no comfort anywhere. Because everyone has truth now. And all these truths don’t fit with other truths. Like a broken tessellation. The malformed pieces just won’t fit together anymore.

Devil’s malware, man. Meant to confuse and break down the system.

Everyone clings to their own truth as gospel and spits at everyone else’s truth as if it was heresy.

Too much chatter. Too much information.

Devil’s malware.

Everyone barking truths on smartphones and wristbands and keyboards and tablets and wailing into the heavens that their truth is sacrosanct.
You’ll say I’ve gone soft in the head.
But this is how I’m seeing it all.
My thoughts become like the logic of that panicked fever dream.
The way the subconscious works like a fairy tale.

I’m like Jason of the Argonauts facing the Hydra. Ulysses facing the Cyclops.


I hear the shutter of the camera again.
Like a trap door opening.
I fall through the trap and slip out of time and space once more.
And the Devil’s face changes from man to monster.
I need to be a beast of glory. Face the Devil or never see the light of morning.

Face the Devil.


I think back to what Jimmy said near the Tiffany & Co. star on 57th Street.
Jimmy said, “There’s no Devil. There’s just bad shit people do. There’s just bad shit people say. There’s just bad shit that happens. No Devil required.”

There’s no Devil?

Tell that to the monster that’s staring me down.

Tell that to the creature about to devour me.

The Devil’s Malware 17.2

NYPL Lion cropped 1

Beast of glory.
Did we make the Devil? Did the Devil make us?
Infinite universe. Infinite possibility.
So many truths. And they all could be true.
The Devil exists. And the Devil is fabricated.
Two figures walking in opposite directions at the same time. Two truths existing in tandem.

Screw it, man!

You’ll say I’ve gone soft in the head, but I need to be like that lion on 5th Avenue.

I need to howl.

You’ll say I’ve gone sentimental, but my weapon is my howl.

I just need to roar at the monster. Shout. Bellow.

Got no sword or shield.

All I got is my howl.

The Devil’s Malware 17.3

Gleaner Roars

I remember the first time I saw the face of my newborn daughter. The first time I kissed my ex-wife at our mutual friend’s party. After a long night where I finally got her to put down that camera.

I see the shadow of all the holiday lights around me and I remember the first time we brought home the Christmas tree together. Lugging it home with our granny cart through the streets of Forest Hills.

The first orphan Christmas after I left my family where I met Barry, Sydney, and Suzie.
And their absurd cat. Absurdly named Tickles.
They were an instant family when I suddenly had none.

Got no sword or shield.

Got hope.

You’ll say I’ve gone soft in the head, but hope is all I got standing in a pocket universe out of time and space facing the Malevolent Intelligence on the corner of Queens Blvd. and Queens Plaza.

I throw my head back and yawp in the face of the Devil.

It’s all I have left in me.

So what if I’m mad. Crazy as a loon.

So what?

I roar into the face of the Devil.

(Tune in tomorrow for the next installment…)

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