Tour De Life

April 8, 2005

Volume 33,
Issue 14

Sat, Feb 27, 2016


by Beau Burriola
Something New
Hi, this is Beau. I’m out walking in the rain; leave a message. Beep.

“Little brother? Remember how I told you I was going to start the South Beach diet? Well, I started it today and I feel great! I wanted a cinnamon roll, but I didn’t get one. Call me back so I can gloat.”

I was walking along, whistling in the slight Seattle rain, when I decided to detour into a badly lit and musty-smelling music store. There, in the uneven fluorescent light, against the dirty back wall, I spied a violin mounted next to other instruments in a glass case. Next to the violin was a sign that read: “Monthly Rentals, inquire at register.”

In this, my twenty-sixth year, I have the same “I shoulds” that most adults do. I should eat better. I should read more history. I should recycle more. On top of the pile of shoulds is the ever prominent reminder that I should always try to learn more; to do something new and expand my experiences.

Hi, this is Beau. I’m out walking in the rain; leave a message. Beep.

“Hey, Beau. It’s Sean. I finally started on my dissertation. Well, actually it’s only one paragraph, but I’ve started and it’s taken FOREVER to get to this point, so I thought I’d call and give you the good news. Call me back.”

I asked the smiling blonde gal behind the counter about the violin. Her name was Amy and she asked me if I’d ever played before. No, I answered, but I’ve always wanted to. For twenty three bucks a month, she told me, on a rent-to-own basis, I could try out a violin to see if it’s something I like. Since twenty three bucks doesn’t seem to me to be too bad of a gamble, I accepted.

As I filled out the rental agreement, a strong-faced and dark-haired man walked up to the register next to me and in a gruff Russian-sounding accent, asked if he could place flyers for violin lessons.

“What a coincidence,” Amy smiled, taking a flyer from the stack and handing it to me. It took only a half-second to have a crush on my new instructor. As our first order of student/teacher business, we picked out a couple of beginning lesson books.

Hi, this is Beau. I’m out walking in the rain; leave a message. Beep.

“It’s Jay, just calling to thank you. It’s been three days and this time I know treatment is going to work. It’s weird being sober. It’s different. I have energy. Anyway, I’ll try you at this time tomorrow. Pick up your phone.”

As I left the store carrying a violin case, I half-wondered if the store would disappear when I left, back to that place that mirages and daydreams come from.

Every day there are a million chances to try something new; for those who are open enough to catch chance passing by with quick impulse, unknowable rewards could be waiting just around the corner.

This morning I woke up to three voicemail messages and a new violin; all had something in common.

Chance? Maybe. Probably not.

“The ancestor of every action is a thought.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beau Burriola is a hobby dabbler only five years away from hire for weddings and bar mitzvahs. Email him at

Leslie Robinson

Madelyn Arnold