The Mission: Apology (part 2)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

It took five minutes for Ginny to learn that the president of Coastal Mapping and Survey was Maxwell Madden, a retired Air Force officer with a distinguished career, and a decorated fighter pilot. Ginny spent a lot of time during the next week with her head in her hands. Would she never learn, she thought. Her mother had warned her over and over again about her flippant attitude, and this time she’d been cheeky with her Boss, the President of The Company, and a Brigadier General to boot. Oh, GinnyGinnyGinny. How would she ever apologize?

After a week of thought, careful research, some detailed measurements, and a half-dozen sketches, Ginny was ready. She’d stopped by the art supply store Friday evening after work, and bought three sheets of their finest heavyweight, hot pressed watercolor paper—smooth as porcelain. Saturday morning she prepared her paints, prepared her paper, and opened a fresh jar of masking latex.

Finally Ginny was done with most of the painting; she was exhausted and soaking wet. But she stripped and changed into running clothes, and took off for the beach in front of her house. Almost two miles into the wind one way, then back again. Now she was wet and filthy.

The outdoor shower her father designed for the beach house was like a tiny Japanese garden. Private, serene, and soothing, Ginny stood in the deluge of hot water until it ran out and ran cold. Wrapping herself in a large terry robe, she slowly climbed the stairs to the deck and collapsed in the hammock. When the sun went down she went to bed. As she pulled up the covers she realized that she was hungry, but it was too late.

The next day she took more paint and a wispy-thin brush, and began her detail work. Lastly, Ginny chose a 0000 Leroy pen, thinned out some black ink until she approved the grayness, and filled the reservoir. She practiced a dozen sets, then printed in tiny 2-point letters, “Mad Max.” In the lower right corner, she printed “Virginia Gregg,” and the date. She propped her board up on the sofa and stared at the painting for the rest of the day. It was ok, she decided. She trimmed it, secured it in fresh paper, and put in her portfolio. On Monday at lunch, she carried it to a frame shop, and begged to pick it up on Tuesday.

It was perfect. The framer wrapped it for her in a long swathe of gold-flecked tissue and tied it with single strand of shiny raffia. She found a plain gift card on a rack at the register and wrote, “Thanks for being a good sport and not firing me. Ginny Gregg.”

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One Response to “The Mission: Apology (part 2)”

Kelly Says:
July 15th, 2006 at 10:30 pm

ah, quite good. k


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