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.