Right before the first act of the opera began today, the principal violist, an invited guest top player, an American playing in the Berlin Philharmonic turned to me and said, "Can we talk at the break?" "Sure," I said. About what? Scenarios and possibilities went through my mind. How long has it been since I washed my concert clothes? Do I smell really bad and just not know it?; I'm working on the care and execution of my up bows, I really am, I'm sorry if they're offending you; Is it rude to drink water during the recitatives? I can't make it through the first act without proper hydration, but I suppose I could try to do without it if you find it distracting; Yes I knew X (any number of people) from X( any number of places), how do you know them??; Yeah I don't know what's going on at the beginning of the Vivace in that aria either; What? I've been tuning my cello a quarter tone flat my whole life and nobody told me??
And countless other possibilities. I started to enjoy the parade of thoughts that trickled through my mind, inspired by this particular person's disposition in my life and curious motivations behind such a request.
It turns out he just wanted to say hello. All these thought were just my self-reflected paranoia, but perhaps there is something to learn from them. Maybe it's time to do my laundry, and practice some up bow scales, and double-check my tuning. What more can I ask myself?