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I felt a growing anticipation as I neared the mall. A brother arranged it because I didn’t have the money at the time a few weeks earlier — it was a salew of the day. When I got there I had to unzip her — if it was a her — like a new mother checks for all their child’s fingers and toes.

I didn’t really have any conscious expectation but was surprised how shiny and small she was. I don’t think I ever even held a violin before. And even with the case she was almost weightless. Walking the mall, I received a few comments of the tommy-gun variety and have to admit the urge to buy realistic toy ammo clips to tape to it. Let them come for me …

That evening I learned to tune her, but couldn’t make a sound. Googled “How to rosin a bow”. Thank YouTube for the helpful others out there. Okay, only light pressure, the weight of the bow itself, works well. Dug out the book my daughter gave me for more hints and pointers.

One mystery remains — how to fit my left hand’s fingers among the strings.