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I laid down some toríca fast


Órale, the featured of this episode is toríca. It comes from the word, retórica or rhetoric, and means a quick pitch, a fast explanation or argument. It also means a hollow promise, fact, or declaration. It’s something you say to achieve a reprieve or brief agreement, also when you ask someone out on a first date. The better and faster the toríca, the better the chances you get your way.

“You look pale,” don Salomón said to Boy.

“Get in. We’ve been waiting too long,” he quickly added.

Boy hopped into the truck. He was in nightclub clothes. It was just before daybreak. Don Salomón, Boy’s ride to work that summer before his senior year in high school, had been idling in front of Boy’s house and looking to his right. Meanwhile Boy had approached from the opposite direction, as if he was just getting home. He would’ve surprised Salomón and the other rider in the truck had they not spotted Boy jogging toward them from a long way up the street.

“Gonna be a long day on the pipeline in those clothes and no breakfast and no sleep, but there’s no time for you to go in cus we got behind waiting for you,” said don Salomón.

Boy seemed hopped up, as if he had just dropped out of whatever it was he had gotten into.

“What happened to you tonight that you’re just now getting back home—walking?” he asked Boy.

“What”? asked Boy.

“No must’ve been something bad?” don Salomón asked.

“Pos, simón. Bad but could’ve been really bad,” Boy said.

“Pos qué?” don Salomón insisted.

“Pos I ran into an old girlfriend at the disco. Hadn’t seen her since our first and only date at church years ago. Anyway, I spent the night at her cantón. Then in the middle of the night, her vato came home and turned on the lights,” Boy said.

“Eeee! That’s why you’re still in disco clothes,” the other rider, a young man a little older than Boy, said.

“Wait. Let him finish,” don Salomón insisted.

“Pos first I acted like I was there by accident,” said Boy.

“Haaa!” both don Salomón and the other rider shouted at once.

“Then?” don Salomón said.

“Pos then I started talking about that thing last week where the sheriffs came to pull Jawat out of his jefita’s house for draft dodging,” said Boy.

Don Salomón and the other rider looked at each other.

“I talked fast. Who knows what I said. But the vato hesitated enough to think about the toríca I was laying down that I was able to get out of the bedroom before he realized it. Half thought it was a dream until I got to the back door and saw the vato had knocked it down. Woke up de amadres then. So le puse and didn’t even try to get into my ramfla. I don’t know how I came out with my calcos and lisa,” Boy said.

“Heavy toríca, ese,” said the other rider.

“Not just toríca, Witchcraft! Just make sure to lower the volume now that you’re here with us,” said don Salomón.

Oscar Rodriguez is the creator and host of Caló.