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I don’t feel like a man


Órale, the word for this episode is masote. It means a physically attractive male. It comes from the English word, muscle, but it doesn’t necessarily refer to muscles themselves but whatever physical attribute you think makes a male attractive, like thick hair, eagle eyes, or a strong voice or energetic personality. The term can also be used in reference to a female, but given it invokes male attributes, know that masota won’t work as a compliment in all circumstances.

The party in Los Montoyas finally started winding down at dawn on Saturday.

The night had not started out that way. There had been a double-axel trailer repair project that was not going well just behind the public hall early Friday afternoon. The cousin that started it called in other cousins to help. But the job kept dragging on and soon drew a crowd of passersby and neighbors. Then the vato showed up.

He had driven all the way down to Los Montoyas with a cooler full of beer looking for a party.

“Órale, vatos, pañen beer,” he said even before he came to a full stop.

“De aquellas! I’m gonna leave this pinche rusty boat where it is,” the cousin who was leading the repairs announced as he abandoned the trailer and walked to the vato’s pickup.

“Here’s one. Ponle,” the vato said to him.

And the party was lit.

The vato then proved the life of the party without letting up all night, as he always did.

Having carried himself as a mazote almost his entire life of 79 years—not counting his baby years, the vato was always the charmer. He soon got everybody drunk, passing out beers and telling enthralling stories of mostly about his many girlfriends and wives.

“The ruca then drove away in my pickup when I was asleep thinking she had stranded me. But she came back after driving around lost all day without food and water and said, ‘you gonna stop talking about your other girlfriends now?’ And I said, órale, now I’ll only talk about my wife,” the vato said to a chorus of laughter.

He was the last one standing when sun came up. So he retreated to his pickup and honked the horn.

Everybody got up and gathered around his truck like cattle being called.

“More beer?” he asked.

“Chale. We have to go to the chante,” everybody said.

“Hey, what’s that?” somebody asked, pointing to a heap of blue pills covered in dust in the vato’s ashtray.

“You know how some mamones always carry a gun to feel like a man? Pos, if I don’t have my blue pills ready to go, I don’t feel like a man,” the vato retorted.

Everybody staggered away laughing uncontrollably.

The vato then fixated on the pills but soon fell over on his seat asleep.

Oscar Rodriguez is the creator and host of Caló.