Making Friends

The driver said, “Sir?” and then, more loudly, “Sir??”  I looked up and noticed only two other people on the bus – the driver and his son, about age 11, standing near his dad.

The driver, looking at me in his rearview mirror, asked, “Is that an instrument?”

“Yes, a violin, I’ve just had it repaired at a shop right over there and I’m on my way home.  I can’t wait to play it!”

He was obviously interested, then pointed at the kid, “He just started the saxophone – it’s kind of expensive.”

“Oh, yeah, well I’ve been renting another violin from a shop in Roscoe Village in Chicago – it’s about $55 per quarter.  I thought that was pretty reasonable.”

“A quarter, that’s like 4 months?”


“Hmm.  I’m paying quite a bit more than that for his saxophone.  His sister wants to start the violin this year though.”

“This shop rents string instruments to students – I’ve been pretty happy if you want the number.”


I gave him the number.  He wondered, “So you got yours fixed?  Is it a nice one?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty nice – I’m lucky; it was my father-in-law’s.”

The boy, who’d been listening intently, said, “Is it small?”

I said, “You wanna see it?” and he brightened up.  I opened the case and slipped it out of its handmade bag.

He stared at it intently and then smiled up at me.  “Thanks!”

“Sure.” I replaced the instrument, closed the case and made my way back to my seat.

As I got off the bus I waved, “Good luck with your saxophone!”  He smiled and waved.

Thanks for reading.


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