The Dyspeptic Secretary

by Arthur Chertowsky

The sounds of construction can be heard from outside the putty colored office - jackhammers, cranes dropping metal pipes, the occasional shrieks of passersby being killed by falling debris. An obese 53-year-old male secretary slumps behind his desk, guzzles an intensely pink bottle of Pepto-Bismol, and wails, “It’s been seven years since 9/11, will it never end?" The office loudspeaker sputters on. This is your Fire Safety Warden... conducting a test of the fire safety emergency response system... do not be alarmed... in the event of an actual emergency, you must follow the directives given to you by your floor warden or your Fire Safety Director... this is just a test. "Every day is a test, Mister Fire Safety Warden,” responds the secretary. “Every day I walk through rubble and ruin to get here so I can listen to you playing with yourself over the loudspeaker, but my day is coming, I'm getting out of here, someday... when the time is right..."


Arthur Chertowsky is obsessed with the idea of fleeing New York City.