© 2023 Marfa Public Radio
A 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Lobby Hours: Monday - Friday 10 AM to Noon & 1 PM to 4 PM
For general inquiries: (432) 729-4578
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

We’re saliendonos, ese


The feature this week is the term te sales. In modern Spanish, it means you’re getting out. In Caló, it means you are out of line, literally, and you're out of your mind or your normal self, figuratively.

It was Boy’s second time on a quinceañera court.

He had been invited to be padrino by a girl from Bastos he hardly knew, a friend of the honoree whom he did not know at all. Boy thought the girl was pretty, and he took her invitation to be a sign of romantic interest. He said yes on the spot and immediately started saving money to rent a tuxedo and buy the requisite orchid bracelet for the girl and a white carnation brooch for himself. He had high hopes.

The fact that not a single rehearsal was called, denying him the opportunity to meet and talk more with the girl, did not dissuade Boy. The idea of spending the evening with her at the quinceañera was enough to keep him engaged.

The appointed date was slow to come, but the evening flew by so fast he was in the marcha before he knew it. There he was in one line and the girl he hoped to be talking to on another line on the opposite end of the dance floor.

“We hardly talked,” he thought.

All marchas are different. They reflect the character of the host family. This one was slow, uninspired and unathletic. One big slow circle after another.

“Hey, ese, you hear the moon landing was fake,” a skinny kid marching next to Boy said.

“What?” said Boy.

“Simón. They keep saying there was a moon landing, but chale. Just Hollywood. Watchas?” his fellow shuffler said.

Boy was trying to make eye contact with his match, but the girl seemed to be avoiding him. And the kid marching next to him was pressing him for attention.

“How do you know, ese?” asked Boy.

“Cuz, jets can’t fly to the moon. Nel. They say crazy stuff like to blow your mind and control you,” was the answer.

Boy had no idea what he was talking about. Did he mean the latest Apollo or the first one?

“Pos, whoever’s saying that se sale,” said Boy.

“Everybody is, vato, but they don’t want you to know,” the skinny kid said.

Boy noticed they were getting out of line.

“Pos, why ain’t it on the news then?” asked Boy.

“Cuz they won’t let the news say it,” the kid said adamantly.

“Hey, we’re saliendonos,” said Boy.

The kid looked around and saw he was out of line.

“Órale. Just don’t tell anybody,” he said as he got back in line.

“Órale, I won’t say you te sales,” said Boy.

Oscar Rodriguez is the creator and host of Caló.