A new barista has been working at the coffee house a block from my house during the afternoon shift.   He is a music student, maybe twenty years old, and an extremely talented violinist.  The coffee house is usually empty during the late afternoon.  Today, I went in for a cup of coffee.  As I drank my coffee, the barista played his violin behind the counter.  He stood in front of a music stand, playing from a book titled “Music by Bach.” 

The barista’s playing was amazing.  He had a masterful control of his instrument and  produced rich, romantic tones.  He also had that “X-factor” they talk about on shows like “American Idol.”  He was young, intense, good-looking, with long brown hair. 

After he finished his piece, I complimented him on his talent.  I walked over, eager to relate to him as an “informed” classical music lover.  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.  “That’s Bach, right?”  I asked innocently, faking that I didn’t already know the answer since he was playing from a book titled “Bach Concertos.” 

“Huh?  Who?”  he asked in return.

“Bach.  You were playing Bach, right?”

“Uh, I dunno.  They gave us this book in school.” 

He looked at the front of his music book, apparently for the first time.

“Hey, you’re right.” he announced.  ” Bach.  Cool.  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. 

Later that day, I saw him skateboarding in the street with these two surfer dudes WHILE carrying his violin case under his arm.