Thursday, March 15, 2007

6. Last chance

I returned to the hotel to hear that I had had a call from the Netherlands, from Leopold in Eindhoven. He wanted to know, no doubt, how the project was progressing, I thought. I pre-formulated a few positive responses and called him back. What I heard shook me to my bones. Great news, said a very excited Leopold. Queen Juliana has announced her abdication. The hologram you are making of Princess Beatrix, he said, will soon be a hologram of the Queen. Get back as soon as you can with the hologram, he urged, and with that the line went dead.

I sunk down onto the bed, this can’t be happening, I moaned. Just when you thought things could not possibly get worse, Fate conspires to show you, you were wrong again. I finally fell off to sleep but not before I dreamt of falling into a big black hole. Deep sleep relieved me of any further discomfort.

Whatever took place in my subconscious that night I will probably never know but when I awoke I was ready to face my fate. Calm I was, relaxed……, well, that’s probably pushing it but if there was no acceptable hologram, then so be it.

Peter was beginning to look the worst for his 3-night ordeal. But a trace of a smile in his otherwise exhausted face gave me hope. I walked over to the hologram display area. He had 3 new versions of the hologram hanging ready to be viewed. The first still showed what was now a much smaller “scar” close to the hairline, the second the hair had moved partially onto the neck and the rest was lost in the background. The third, well, the third, it was gone completely. It was perfect. I was so overwhelmed that I turned to give him a big hug. But, just at that very second, he lit up a fresh joint and was, temporarily lost in a blue cloud of mind-altering smoke, and the moment passed.
“Yeah, it was a real bitch”, he said. “I spent all night jiggling the film around so that that hair would be hidden in your Queen’s own hair. It’s still there you know, you just don’t see it anymore.

I had been reprieved. I had stared into an abyss and Lady Luck had stared back.

As a token of celebration, I told Peter to get some sleep and I would pick up 3 copies of the hologram with the master after the weekend.
He agreed without a whimper of protest.

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