The Fiddler, Hi-Ho Lounge

When she arrives to the open jam, the case is already unclasped save for one bronze fastener, and as she joins the circle of players, she flicks it off like the safety on a gun with the back of her knuckle. The fiddle comes out and spins her left hand while the fingers in her right strafe the strings to check the tuning. Perfect.

The song is halfway done, but she drops right in, pushing the tip of her bow up over her shoulder, vertical, pitching the melody like lofted hay then taking a solo right off of someone else's fretboard. There is another fiddler here, much younger, confident in nothing but his posture, but she takes no time to teach or coach all night because this is her thing, her two hours to fetch notes from inspired corners of her heart. It's her chance to exalt in a strength, to let the tires find a track and almost move along full speed without a need to adjust left and right

It's only Monday night, so this loud jam must hold her through all hours, commutes, strains, and burdens. Tomorrow starts the first day in another week of counting down, maybe a little solo playing here and there with the stereo, but nothing like this, sitting as the proudest out of a dozen string players sharing inherited songs.