The violin was psychedelic green, green as a shamrock, green as Kermit the Frog, a take-no-prisoners green. I bought it for thirty dollars at a yard sale in Providence.
“The violin’s free,” the owner told me, though he counted the money more than once: four fives and a ten. “I’m just charging you for the case and the bow.”
His girlfriend, his ex-girlfriend, had painted it with acrylic paint one night when she was high, and then she’d painted it again. It was green to stay. Even when it was in the case, he could see it glowing in the dark. He’d wrapped it in newspaper and kept it at the back of the closet along with ice-skates and the broken Crock-Pot. He was selling those, too.
I had no need for a violin, green or otherwise, but it seemed like a good investment. When I brought it back to the dormitory, my roommate grabbed it, tuned it and was playing along with a Taj Mahal record within the hour. A week later, I still hadn’t figured out how to hold the bow. Read More