NEW ๐Ÿ“—Story: Radio โŒ

Vekllei Rumba

Saturday, Dec 18, 2021
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Coretti Adoula was a good singer but didnโ€™t sing much. Tzipora had regarded her politely but distantly for a while after Moise started dating her in 10th grade. It was an awkward thing. Tzipora was not quite sure how to strike up a conversation โ€” maybe she was a little insecure.

Coretti was an Afro-Russian, but had lived in Vekllei since she was six. She spoke without an accent and was well-accustomed to life in Vekllei. Tzipora had been born in Vekllei, but here she stood, short and stupid with the clumsy, childish accent of a foreigner. She was very self-conscious about her foreignness.

There was also a contest of appearances. Moise was Tziporaโ€™s first male friend, and so she paid attention to who he liked. Coretti was tall, sweet-natured, pretty and had dark skin of the kind Tzipora hadnโ€™t seen before. Every time she saw Coretti, Tzipora was suddenly aware of how short, bad-mannered and pale she was. In some ways, they were opposed in his orbit, competing for Moiseโ€™s time and affection as satellites.

About the time Moise and Coretti started dating, Tzipora was spending a lot of time in clubs, immersing herself in the Lola jazz scene. It was a fantastic time to be in it โ€” Lola is a neighbourhood of migrants, and you had all the sounds of the world ringing out across the borough. Tzipora loved jazz โ€” she liked any kind of interesting, syncopated and percussive music โ€” and Corettiโ€™s brother was the drummer in a Congolese rumba band called Rats de Brazzaville. His name was Andre. Tzipora knew him well. Rats de Brazzaville were a big band with a big sound, which made them a big deal for dance clubs. She had probably seen them play a dozen times.

Talk about a small world. When Coretti brought it up, the usually quiet Tzipora looked up โ€” Andre Adoula? From the Brazzaville Rats? How do you know him? All it took was that coincidence and a love of rumba, and all of Tziporaโ€™s misgivings about Coretti were forgotten. Why should she sit here and pity herself? It feels better to dance, doesnโ€™t it?