The boy who played the violin

January 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

When I was a freshman in college, I liked this boy who played the violin.  I didn’t know him or anything.  I just liked that he wore old man clothes and rolled his shirt sleeves over his forearms.  I had a four o’clock class that began when his class ended, and the only time I really saw him was when we would cross each other in front of the art building.  It was my last class of the day, and I used to take these GIGANTIC “power” naps in the dorm that would start at two and end at ten til four.  Sometimes I would over sleep, and get super bummed out as I’d watch from my window as this boy walk across the street.  And then I’d sigh a little.  Sigh.

Later on in the semester, I would go down to the building a little earlier and sit on a cold cement bench in front of the building.  The shadow of the clock tower kept the bench cool, but the sun always peeked beyond the trees enough to warm my legs.  And I was never without a book.  It had to be something smart and showy.  Freshman year, I think it was Sartre.  And Camus.  Anyway, I would position myself in such a way where it would look like I was reading, and for the most part I was, but when the time was right, I could just peer over the top of my book and glance at this boy.  It used to make my day.  Sometimes he would look back at me.  Sometimes he would half-smile.  Sometimes he wasn’t there and I would feel really stupid about waiting.  But for the most part, he’d be there, and it used to give me little heart-skips and jumps and twirls to see him walk past me.

At some point, maybe a year or so later, we met and became friends.  This boy who played the violin became different to me then.  Less quixotic.  Less mysterious.  I always wondered if he knew I’d been watching him from my bench as he’d walk across from me, violin case in one hand, Norton’s Anthology of American Literature in the other.  Maybe I should have asked.


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