NEW Story: Drip
Coretti Adoula was a good singer but didn’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 — 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 Tzipora’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 hadn’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 Moise’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 — Lola is a neighbourhood of migrants, and you had all the sounds of the world ringing out across the borough. Tzipora loved jazz — she liked any kind of interesting, syncopated and percussive music — and Coretti’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 — 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 Tzipora’s misgivings about Coretti were forgotten. Why should she sit here and pity herself? It feels better to dance, doesn’t it?