"J osh, meet our newest talent: Mordy Sanders!” Dan flings out an arm expansively toward a guy standing just behind him. The fellow is tall and thin — he reminds me of a baseball bat to Dan’s ball-like proportions — and he’s blushing.

“Mordy comes to us from the best journalism school in the country. We’ve heard great things about him. He’ll be a wonderful asset to our paper.” Dan beams. Does he expect me to applaud?

He turns to the newcomer. “Mordy, this is the famous Josh Weissman. Josh has been at this paper for eighteen years, and he’s our top reporter. There’s so much you can learn from him. He’ll be training you in, showing you the ropes.”

“Good to meet you, Mr. Weissman,” Mordy says. “I always enjoy your articles, such solid reporting, with wide-ranging quotes.”

“It’s Josh,” I say. I aim for an affable tone, but it comes out like a growl. “Welcome to the office.” The silence goes on a minute too long. “I have a story I have to finish in an hour, so I’d better be going,” I finally say.

“Mordy will be starting tomorrow,” Dan says. “We’ll move in another desk, catty-corner to yours.”

I head to the kitchen. I need another coffee badly. (Excerpted from Calligraphy, Issue 704)