© 2024 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

Sobres on me


Órale, the feature this week is the word sobres. It comes from the Spanish word, sobre, which means above or hovering. In Caló, it means to be attentive of or focused on someone or something. When you’re courting, you are sobres, attuned to the needs and desires of the person you’re pursuing. Of course, you can also overdo it and be so sobres that what you’re really doing is stalking. In either case, it can be said you’re sobres only if it shows. Somebody who’s sobres manifests their intentions. Otherwise they’re just being chiflado (presumptuous), but that’s for another episode.

It was cold and dark outside when the vato dropped off the morra at her house, a surprise change in weather early in the fall caught both of them without a coat. There was nothing more unusual to the evening. He’d dropped her off many times before, sunny, rainy, when they were in school, and now in the holidays after work. Sometimes they talked a little before she got out of his ramfla. Always just a half hug and “órale, te watcho.”

A few days earlier, she had shared that a vato she liked was sobres on her. She had done this before. Not a new onda.

“Órale,” he said.

This time, however, the morra paused a little before she said goodbye.

When the goodbye hug came, she clung to him.

Then the vato’s big wish came true: a pichón. Short but topped off by a sweet smile.

It wasn’t clear to him who initiated it, but he wasn’t thinking about it. He couldn’t think about anything.

“De aquellas?” she asked him.

The vato didn’t know what to say or how to express himself. He stayed quiet for a few seconds. Then mumbled unintelligibly. Then when he tried to speak, his voice cracked.

“Sí—simón!” he said.

“But no you said a vato you like is sobres on you?”

“Uhumm. A nice vato,” she said.

“So now you’re pichoneando another vato,” he said.

“Pos, it’s not like I’m cheating on him. We’re nothing yet, not even a pichón,” she said.

“So why…,” the vato started to say.

“Cuz I was feeling good about how he’s been so sobres,” she said.

“No a pichón is when you feel good about somebody?”

The vato got it. And it felt de aquellas to him. He pañó that she was just sharing her feelings of new love. She wasn’t asking him to capear with her, just be a trusted esquina— alivianar her so she could capear to that other vato better and more confidently.

“De aquellas,” he said, trying to sustain the pajuelazo.

His world had been rearranged. He now knew what it was like to be in love. His memory of that moment would remind him of it for the rest of his life.

“Siról. A pichón is when you feel good about somebody. Ponle,” he said.

Oscar Rodriguez is the creator and host of Caló.