Actually, I do like proofreading the paper. It's like reading the paper before anyone else. You know all the latest news before other folks do. We proofread the paper on Monday.
Proofreading comes as separate articles, one per page, placed in a stack. The routine is simple, pick up a stack, read, edit, sign off, put on bottom of stack. When done with the stack, return it to the proofreading desk and grab the next stack.
Midstack, I happened upon an article with a photo of a young man impishly staring back at me. I picked it up, and looked at that photo. Why, that's the young man I used to work with over at the restaurant where I worked before coming to the paper. We often worked that same night shift and would chat with each other.
I liked him. A sweet young man. Helpful, thoughtful, kind. I had been wondering recently how he was doing. In fact, I thought of him quite a bit last week.We both left the restaurant at about the same time to pursue other things. Last time I saw him, he told me he was happy with his new "thing". As I am with mine.
Well, I thought, let's proofread this article and see what my friend is up to. It was then that I realized I was proofreading.his.obituary. Gone, passed on, dead. Way too young.
Very, very sad day.