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From the Field

By Michael Wilk

Yours truly has been silent for some 2 months now, so I’ve decided to break
my silence and remind everyone that I’m still alive and kicking-not like a
Rockette, more like Marlene Dietrich in one of her stage shows, where she
instructed the showgirls not to kick higher than her.

2002 started out innocently enough. 2000 was not a good year for me-I was in
a car accident on April 1st, hit by a reckless driver who was driving without
a license. My car was totaled, and I got screwed by my insurance company,
telling me it was my fault. April fool! And in October, I had to have one of
my dogs put to sleep, which was a knife through my heart.

On to 2001. Pretty uneventful for the most part, and then, of course,
September 11. Need I say more? And the aftermath! Fear, anthrax real and
ersatz, a wounded economy, war in Afghanistan, and a somewhat dreary holiday
season. The newspapers and TV news shows reported that retailers didn’t
exactly do a booming business at Christmastime. And, to top it off, both of
my dogs were sick. My male dog, Jake, had a bad bladder infection, and my
female, Rags, had contracted a mild form of Lyme disease-a one in a million
chance, since I don’t exactly live in the woods. Ho, ho, ho. But at least
they’re both 100% better now, thank goodness. I won’t divulge how much my
vet bills were, but now I’m looking into pet insurance for my dogs.

Christmas was ok. I love our Christmas tree. I’m Jewish, but what difference
does it make? I get great pleasure out of looking at our tree. David bought
me nice presents, too, so that was certainly nice. We didn’t do anything New
Year’s Eve. We were invited to a house party, but we were both feeling tired
and blue, so we just stayed home. Just us and the dogs. And Cirque du Soleil
on the TV. And champagne. Actually, we had a nice time!

It’s now early January 2002, and I’m trying to be optimistic. Things here in
NYC appear to be “back to normal”. People aren’t acting as frightened as
they were a few months back, the subway service is no more aggravating than
usual, so that’s a good sign! There haven’t been any new reports of people
contracting anthrax, although new tests were conducted at the Morgan mail
facility, and more anthrax spores were detected on machinery, so we’re not
out of the woods yet.

Since a number of my friends say that I’m something of a pessimist and a
doomsayer, I’m taking pains to try and look on the bright side. I’m still
healthy, employed, and sane-I think. But, as a former co-worker used to say,
“Any day above ground is a good day!” I’m still with my partner, David, who
is a good companion and a wonderful cook. We’re together nearly 8 years, and
we haven’t killed each other yet, so I take that as another good sign! I just
got another raise from the USPS-not a particularly dramatic one, but at least
it’s a few more dollars.

There aren’t any new films that I’m running out to see, but since I rarely
go to the movies any more, that’s no big surprise. I think I’ll just stay in
these cold winter nights and watch DVDs. What’ll it be tonight, Divine in
“Pink Flamingoes”, or “Dumbo?” Happy New Year!

About the Author
Michael Wilk is a 44 year old graphic artist, and is employed by the United State Postal Service in Manhattan, where he has worked for the past 22 years. He lives in Howard Beach, Queens, approximately 5 minutes away from JFK Airport.