Tammurriata nera

Every day brings dilemmas, some big, some small. Why should today be any different? To my knowledge the world could end at any moment, so wasting time is the last thing on my mind. Yet that is the paradigm that comes with dilemmas. While you're in them, while you stretch and strain your mind, you achieve exactly what you meant to avoid. 

Teo Vaga sat at the lounge, seconds becoming minutes, trying to decide whether or not he should appear late to a 3 hours class. He had just come out of an Italian exam, and felt more liberal than sitting in a cold classroom would provide. The last four days were spent writing take home mid-terms and essays, and in his opinion the class had received enough of his time for one week.

However, a dilemma still existed. His midterm and essay were no good if they were never turned in, and the only way he could turn them in was to show up to class. Woe is he. Biting bullet, he shuffles shamelessly to the classroom. The night's cool air calls him to forget his cares, while the work crews setting up for the annual Italian Festival aren't helping his dilemma.

Only seconds away from class he's intercepted by greeters for a concert sponsored by Crossroads Cultural Center.

"My friend, my friend! You have to come tonight to the show!" says a male greeter.

"Yes, yes, it's going to be great," clamor nearby women.

"I don't know.....," says Teo. "I really need to go to class."

"No you don't! Relax! These guys have come all the way from Italy to perform. They're great," says the man.

It's hard for Teo to resist a cultural experience, let alone an Italian one. Within seconds the women had persuaded him to come to the show, and said he would be a Pinocchio if he lied about coming. The dilemma has now become more problematic. How can he submit his work, and slip out of class for the concert? Normally 3 hour classes have a break, which became his only comfort as he entered the cold classroom.

It became apparent after 30 minutes that no break would occur. Something had to give, least Teo would become a Pinocchio


Call it allergies. Call it because of the seasons changing. He calls it a reason to be excused.

Teo leaves his bag and books and rushes to the concert hall where Trio Napolincanto are performing. The guitar provides the foundations while the mandolin's sounds dance around the theatre. Gianni Aversano, founder, sings covers of classical Neapolitan songs and commands the audience to sing along.

Teo taps his feet in grand fancy. The music is like a tasty cup of gelato on a hot day, taking his mind off off the week's struggles. However, when he reaches to grab a camera he remembers his things are still in class. More importantly,  his assignments are still not turned in. It is a delicate dilemma, but if he times it right, he can return as class ends, submit his assignments, and catch the closing songs.

He lets out a faint cough as he slips back into the class. The professor says something about preparing for next week, and Teo knows the time has come. It's only seconds before his assignments are turned in and he's on the way to the concert hall.

As he waits to enter a man approaches him.

"Do you like the song they're playing?" he asks.

"Yes sir, it sounds great!"

"Did you read what it's about in the handbill?"

"Ummm...yeah," said Teo as he turned the page to find the song's description.

Tammurriata nera - I do no understand how it is possible! A black baby is born and his mom calls him Ciro anyway/ The old ladies say that the phenomenon is not unsual: sometimes, just a gaze is enough to make a woman suddenly pregnant. 

Teo, who is perhaps the only male present with genes suitable for "black baby" production, enters the theatre as the song finishes. Several women turn in his direction looking inquisitively. Hopefully, it takes more than a gaze to make a woman pregnant.

Click here for information about Crossroads Cultural Center.
Trio Napolincanto Website