Cady Vishniac

We know she woke under the Formica table where we house the visiting freelancers, cheap young men in band t-shirts who barge in once a week to remind us they exist. Sometime during the wee morning hours, the paper having gone to bed after midnight again, Copy had wandered over there flush with the glory of production and screwed a freelancer in full view of Arts, who was in love with her but also believes that we were created by aliens. Maybe she wouldn’t have done this if she knew he was watching, or maybe it didn’t matter, romance being mysterious. By the time she came to the next morning the freelancer was gone. So be it.

We imagine she was bored, her sense of urgency having run out when the sum total of her weekly work was packed into a PDF file and uploaded to a server in Bernton the night before. We picture Copy investigating our office, turning up Layout and Marketing passed out on the floor of our little kitchen and the rest of us gone home. Well, if the caddish freelancer insisted on slinking off, she was perfectly capable of buying her own breakfast.

The last issue to bear her lovely mark came out during the hectic crush of summer following an incident in which a twelve-year-old boy was shot dead by an officer who swore he’d had a gun. Protesters camped in the park by our building, demanding that the cop be charged with murder. It was a strange week for all of us — we regularly wrote right up to deadline and beyond about developments in our backyard — but her last day on Earth wasn’t the first time Copy had slept in our office. Sometimes the articles got in late, and she, always the bulwark that stood between us and the criticisms of the sneering hacks at The Standard, would comb over each letter with fine teeth, looking for nits in our column inches. Those sellouts used to lament our “lack of professionalism,” but not once Copy showed up. Harder to ignore an article about charter schools since we’ve learned to spell such words as inexorably.