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Que curada


Órale, the feature this week is the word curar. In modern Spanish it means to cure, as in from an injury or illness. In Caló, curar means to gawk, as in to take inappropriate pleasure in looking at somebody. It is said that somebody is curandose if they’re looking at somebody who’s unknowingly exposed or in distress. Curar can also be used in situations where the cura is somebody getting their comeuppance or eating crow.

Boy was in a quinceañera on Thanksgiving Day, his third one that year. He had accepted to be in it as a favor to a friend who wanted him to accompany his sister, who was the best friend of the honoree.

Nothing particularly eventful since the start of activities. Church. Then a honking car procession, as usual. Then a dance where invitees get in for free. A long table with white vinyl tablecloth. Then a long wait for the marcha.

The girl he was accompanying didn’t talk much, but she stayed seated beside him and smiled a lot, unlike other quinceañera’s where his date wondered off most of the night. No dancing among the courtesans, however. Since nobody dared be the first on the dance floor, nobody dared start. Boy had no problem with that. It was fun enough making small talk with his friend’s sister.

The only point of annoyance was his pretentious young cousin, Benny, who talked a lot and acted like he had more experience at everything than everybody.

“How’d this mamón get invited, being he’s just barely 13?” Boy thought.

“Eeee! What a cura with that güerita over there. She’s been looking at me all night. Hey, don’t look too hard cuz my date doesn’t know it,” Benny said.

All six couples sitting at the table heard. His date happened to be away at that moment, but she would surely find out when she returned.

“No you like güeras like you, Benny?” one of the other boys at the table said.

“Simón, just like me. Hey, curate there’s another one looking at me,” said Benny, not getting any of the sarcasm.

“Se sale, Benny. Not güero at all, just uses that whitening cream,” Boy grumbled to himself.

“Hey, I’m gonna walk around and curarme with all the rucas,” said Benny, oblivious to the looks he was getting.

Disregarding his date, Benny got up and went to the end of the hall and walked to the restroom on the opposite end.

“Qué annoying,” said one of the girls at the table.

“Siról, de amadres,” a boy sitting across the table said.

“Here he comes back,” another girl said.

“Eeee, look at him with a piece of toilet paper stuck on his shoe!” one of the girls shrieked.

Everybody looked. Benny was making waves at the dance and basking in the attention.

“Watcha everybody’s curandose with him,” Boy said.

Everybody laughed. Benny looked over at them and smiled broadly as if he was a big hit.

“Nobody say anything so we can curarnos all night with him,” a boy at the table said.

Oscar Rodriguez is the creator and host of Caló.