by Gav Mazurek
My hands are always sweaty. Not the clammy type, but the densely wet kind. Consequently, Simcha dancing has always been a problem for me. Monkey bars, handshakes, and the black desks in my High School lab, have also proven to be major difficulties. Winter is a godsend. My only obstacle then, is Violin.
I’ve been playing violin since I was a toddler, and the perspiration issue has stuck with me since then. Thus, I have grown accustomed to playing with slippery fingers. This year is my first year away from home, and I made the choice to leave my violin in America. In an effort to try to describe its’ value to you, if my house say were on fire, given three seconds, my violin is the single item I would grab. It is a mud colored violin with mustard embellishments on the outer curves of its’ body, but it’s beauty is only a fraction of it’s worth, once played. The physical details are belittled by the clear sound the violin emits. So, I left it at home, and rented a violin with quality equivalent to that of an instrument bought at Costco. The final step was to find a teacher.
I’ve been in contact with Ellen for a week now, and we plan to meet today. I’ve been skeptical because I don’t know if there will be cultural differences between our playing styles, or if the location change will be simply strange enough. I don’t have a mother here to drive me back and forth and witness my progression, or a musical community to belong to. Here, violin is an individual undertaking.
I hold my violin now, and speed down the length of Beitar Street. After twenty minutes, I reach her apartment building and press the button next to her name. She buzzes me in, and when I see her, she smiles. My hair is wet, because it rained during the walk over. I dry both my hair and hands on the towel she hands me. She asks me to play, so I lift my chin to rest on my Costco violin and place my fingers on the strings. A familiar feeling settles in my chest. My hands are always sweaty.