Summer at the beach. Â Tanned bodies, flip-flops, kiddie rides, ice cream cones, pop songs on the radio. Â Sure, there may be too much skin exposed, and people are reading dumb books rather thanÂ Dostoevsky, but there is way more sin going on in a typical night on HBO than at a California beach. Â C’mon, Jesus, mellow out and relax. Â Grab a Hawaiian ice and watch the girls.
A new barista has been working at the coffee house a block from my house during the afternoon shift.Â Â He is a music student, maybe twenty years old, and an extremely talented violinist.Â The coffee house is usually empty during the late afternoon.Â Today, I went in for a cup of coffee.Â As I drank my coffee, the barista played his violin behind the counter.Â Â He stood in front of a music stand, playing from a book titled “Music by Bach.”Â
The barista’s playing was amazing.Â He had a masterful control of his instrument andÂ produced rich, romantic tones.Â He also had that “X-factor” they talk about on shows like “American Idol.”Â He was young, intense, good-looking, with long brown hair.Â
After he finished his piece, I complimented him on his talent.Â I walked over, eager to relate to him as an “informed” classical music lover.Â After all, you don’t meet too many “sophisticated” people in Redondo Beach, which is mostly well-known for having good fish tacos.
“Excellent,” I said.Â “That’s Bach, right?”Â I asked innocently, faking that I didn’t already know the answer since he was playing from a book titled “Bach Concertos.”Â
“Huh?Â Who?”Â he asked in return.
“Bach.Â You were playing Bach, right?”
“Uh, I dunno.Â They gave us this book in school.”Â
He looked at the front of his music book, apparently for the first time.
“Hey, you’re right.” he announced.Â ” Bach.Â Cool.Â I’m bringing the sexy Bach!”
I suddenly occurred to me that this talented violinist who just blew me away with his soulful and melancholy music was a complete imbecile.
I sat down and finished my coffee, feeling much like Salieri.Â
Later that day, I saw him skateboarding in the street with these two surfer dudes WHILE carrying his violin case under his arm.