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.