chin hickey - May 15

while i was in chicago and waiting for a train, this cute asian teenager walks past with a small dark mark slightly under her chin. i would know that trademark anywhere -- even if she didn't have a rectangular case strapped to her back. no i don't think she had been necking. i think she spends hours alone. well not completely alone. her and her violin. etudes and concertos and minuets. i used to be able to do that. i used to have a small pock mark on my neck that would occasionally be mistaken for a hickey.... but it was just a small light one that would fade within a few hours. one like hers took several hundred hours to earn. it is a badge. like caluses to a guitar player or gear scars to a mountain biker. playing the violin was never cool and i am not sure whatever possessed me to take it up. my family was musical. i mean we never stood around the piano and sang songs or anything.......but my pawpaw used to be a band director, my mom at some point taught piano lessons and my brother and sister were hard core band nerds. playing an instrument was never a was always a matter of which one. my parents just assumed i would take up the trumpet like my older siblings.......but i never wanted to compete with them. in the 5th grade i did not understand the social structure of music in highschool ( only choir was socially acceptable).......but after a preview w/ an eccentric strings teacher i chose the violin.......or maybe it chose me. within a few months the private lessons were lined up. me and suzuki became friends, thankfully i got to skip the whole practice on a box phase. i was good. not like some kind of child prodigy good. but good like i could practice and feel the music. when i played go tell aunt rhody i played it w/ a little bit of passion......even if it didn't quite match the notes. my parents fully supported this extracuricular. they never cared about sports or anything else, but they never missed a concert. my mom even took off work early once a week to take me to my lessons. my mom never leaves work early. i kept it up, even after it was definantly uncool to be in orchestra. my case was ducktaped from trudging it to and from school everyday. my brother can just hear a song and play it. i never had that ability....but i could make music from a black and white page scattered with notes. they made sense to me and my fingers just seemed to know where to go. i started practicing less and moved back a few chairs but always loved the ability to pick up this wooden block and make something pretty. mellow and deep and much better than words. now - my duck taped covered case sleeps underneath my guest bed. i looked up the value of the violin on the internet back when owen needed a helmet and was shocked to find it was worth almost 3 thousand dollars. i wanted to sell it to cover owen's medical costs. shaun wouldn't let me. it is dusty and the strings are loose and the bow hair is falling out.......but it waits pateintly for me to pick it up, dust it off and play something pretty