Monday, February 14, 2005

My Neighbor, the Violinist

My next door neighbor is a violinist. I'm convinced of it. Often, late in the evening, when I've left the computer and turned off the television, in that moment when it first becomes very quiet, I can hear him playing. Never scales or arpeggios but beautiful concert-perfect pieces. I think he must be a music student at Butler.

When I first began to hear the violin, I thought it had to be a recording. Finally, I thought, an intelligent neighbor who prefers violin concertos to rock music. But often I'd hear the same piece over and over again, with stops and starts. Gradually, it began to dawn on me that he's the violinist. I have assumed he's a student since the apartment next to mine has long been in use by a rotating group attending Butler. I've heard some interesting things through my bedroom wall -- great arguments, better make-ups, phone calls to parents, laughing, parties.

The violin has been the best thing to hear. He plays most often between nine and ten at night and plays pieces straight through. In fact, it took me a long time to convince myself he was really a musician, not just a student with great taste. But I can hear him working on passages, slowing them down, playing them through. In my head I can see him working on fingerings and then playing at full speed with a flourish of the bow.

I've seen him and he doesn't look like a musician. He looks like an average college boy -- tall, short brown hair, polo shirt. I've never actually seen evidence of the violin. But I believe in it -- in the Bach and the Mozart and the Hayden. Even here in Indiana in this white bread professional apartment building with smart young couples, doctors, and political staffers. It makes me feel part of something, like he's sharing his practice with me. (There he goes working on a five note passage again, slowly, now very quick!) Play on, neighbor. Sing me to sleep.


At Tue Feb 15, 03:03:00 AM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

This is very cool. I like the notion of "belief" being involved, since you've never seen him play. ... There's a Sunday school lesson, or something, in thst. :-)


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