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Caló: Apeate, esa

The word for this episode of Caló is apear. It’s a verb that means to get down from your high horse. It’s old Castilian for dismount and get a pié — on your feet.

By Oscar "El Marfa" Rodriguez

Boy was skulking in his car thinking about what Chabelita, his childhood friend and neighbor, had recently said to him.

“That ruca’s just been using you to get around and be introduced to people in the barrio, where she has a few relatives but otherwise doesn’t know anybody,” she had told him. 

He asked himself how he could have missed the signs. 

“Chale, you’re wrong. She’s nice,” he said at first.

Chabelita gave him no quarter.

“Órale, but the güerita kept looking at me all night at the dance. You didn’t see that, ese?” she taunted Boy.

Boy didn’t respond. He thought the relationship had gelled. An idyllic first introduction by his elderly uncle at his backyard barbecue. Now Chabelita had killed the buzz that sparked when they sat together and talked until the party was over. The plans he had made in his mind for seeing her the following weekend, and the one after that.

Chabelita had dashed all of that.

“No, you like her?” asked Chabelita.

“Pos, simón. What do you think, esa?” Boy snapped back.

“Pos, she probably likes you too, but not the same way,” said Chabelita.

“You saying she likes you more even though you haven’t met?” Boy responded.

“Pos, we haven’t met, but I can tell she ain’t looking for a boyfriend. Chale,” said Chabelita.

“I don’t blame you. She’s pretty. I bet she’s nice, too. But….”

“But what?” Boy said raising his voice.

“But you ain’t her type, vato. Ask. Apeala from her Cinderella carriage. Tell her you can introduce her to that girl she’s been looking at,” Chabelita challenged him.

“Watcha, if she says she wants to be with you, then you’re set. But if no, then…”

“Why you so sure she was looking at you that way? Maybe she was just curious,” said Boy.

“Oh, I know. You know I do,” said Chabelita.

Boy looked up. Chabelita raised her eyebrows as if to confirm what was already obvious.

“Duh, vato,” said Chebelita, her arms outstretched.

“Apeate from your ramfla. Get some fresh air. Think about it,” she added.

“Say you’re right. Why should I introduce her to you, esa?” Boy said.

“You don’t need to. She’s gonna find a way. Just keep bringing her to the barrio, and you’ll see,” said Chabelita.

“You apeate from your high horse, esa. Maybe I don’t bring her to the barrio anymore,” said Boy.

“Pos, then she’ll just go back to her friends over there. And you’ll quickly learn what she really thinks of the boyfriend idea,” said Chabelita.

“Te vas apear or no?” asked Chabelita.

“Chale, I’m going stay on my high horse,” said Boy.

“Orale, ay te watcho then,” said Chabelita.