The very first sight read was so exhilarating. Every note was there, spelled out a deceptive simplicity in little dots lines and sharp tails of ink. The paper smelled better aged, like a fine wine or cheese, when it would delicately tickle his nostrils with a scent of mystery. He subtlety gazed over the identically spaced lines, purposely refusing to read the notes contained with in them. He sighed and bent over to unfasten the clasps of his paint brush, the canvas lying already before him. He eased the locks back gently, lovingly, with a caress he would not even reserve for a loved one. The beautiful aroma of the wood permeated the air, making him almost dizzy with anticipation. He wished deeply to yank the instrument out of its case and sink deeply into the arms of his music but he restrained himself. The violin was an instrument to be treated adoringly, not a barbaric thing to be yanked out and plucked upon with hellish ferocity like a filthy banjo. It had to be treated like a refined lady, no a noble woman, flattered, cherished, and the object of his complete and unobstructed attention.

He softly carried his violin out into the open air. He rested it on his knee and began the meticulous work of tuning the instrument. If it was even the tiniest bit out of tune the musical ears of his peers or teachers would catch it and he would be shamed for the rest of the day. He commenced first softly strumming the A string. It rang shrilly but still beautifully to his ear. He spent a half a minute carefully getting the pitch perfect before moving on to the G, D, and E strings. After a few minutes when he was at last satisfied with his work he set the violin back down in the box.

He slipped his bow out from its hiding place with the same reverence that a fencer or samurai had for their weapon. He was meticulous in making sure his skin did not touch the long, firm, horse's hair of the bow, for even the slightest bit of vile oil from his fingers could tarnish the bows sound forever. He then removed the rosin for its small pouch and rubbed it gently between his fingers enjoying the ecstasy of the soft chalky substance that would make his strings sing. He then brushed his bow steadily across the rosin until a fine layer evenly fell across the hair.

At last with his tools finely altered to perfection he could finely commence with his unheard performance. He flipped open his book of sheet music and peered at the tempi of the different pieces. Adagio, too slow. Allegro, that was more where he wanted Andante, no. Presto! Yes, presto would play furiously, allow him to play out his anger, his loneliness, on his violin.

He lifted his violin up onto his shoulder and set his left hand on the first note, B sharp on the D string. With his right hand he reached down and picked up his bow, his fingers already unconsciously finding their way into playing position. He had no cello, viola, or bass to hold time for him and he spurned metronomes for there mechanical inelegance. The natural motion of his foot would have to do. It tapped rapidly on the ground and he breathed out deep. His hand thrust downward, his bow followed, and he lost himself in the ebb and flow of the music.

Every twist and turn of piece delighted him. He never knew what the next line would hold and that element of surprise triggered a primal instinct within him. He could play a piece perfectly, hit every note, amaze with every temporary halt of the notes, and then throw himself back into the piece with reckless abandon, a disregard for the mysterious, secretive, nature of the virgin music. Provided of course, no one else was around.

It was in front of the mighty crowd, the stern gaze of his teacher, or the curious eyes of his peers that he would regress. Not to the level of a preoccupied nine year old indiscriminately sawing away at the violin strings of course, but a severe amount of polish would disappear, a sharp would be ever so flat, a rest ever so late. It was his flaw, it was his secret.

But right now, during that very first sight read by himself, none of that really mattered. There was no crowd, teacher, or fellow student. Only him and his music, Romeo and his singing Juliet, the Master and his Margarita. And as the final note rang out and hung in the air, like lover's parting graces or a farewell kiss; for that short moment all seemed right in the world.