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You’re güiliado


Órale, this week’s feature is the word, güiliado. It means to be enchanted. It comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word for dove, huilotl. There’s a near-synonym, chiflado, that’s often expressed as a simple whistle, for it comes from the Spanish verb for whistle, but it means to be presumptuous, carried away, or obsessed. Somebody who’s said to be güiliado, is said to be in love.

This story is told up and down the Rio Grande. It’s re-told in songs, old sayings, admonitions to the brash, and even spooky tales to the youth. No matter how or to whom it’s told, the story is about incredible, timeless, impossible love.

As the story goes, a vato’s been traveling alone on a desolate road close to the holidays and, coming around a sharp bend, suddenly sees a young woman standing by the side of the road, who waves at him to stop. She doesn’t seem distressed, only anxious to get a ride.

The vato stops, of course. He offers her a ride, and she hops on. Incredibly, she’s a very young and beautiful woman.

“What are you doing here in the middle of nowhere all alone?” the vato asks her.

“Trying to get home. My car went off the road, so I’ve been walking to make it in time for the holidays,” morra answers.

“Órale,” he says.

They make small talk and share their knowledge of the sights along the road.

Time seems to stand still.

The vato then forgets what he’s doing and starts humming an old song.

The morra immediately sings it. They do this over and over.

This fills the vato with good feelings, and he falls in love with her. She soon points to a driveway leading away from the road.

“That goes to my chante. I’ll get off here,” she said.

“I can drive you there,” he says.

“Nel, the dogs will come out and escort me,” she says.

“I’m coming back this way after the holidays. Need a ride back?” he asks.

“Siról, stop by,” she says.

Two dogs come out to greet her, and the vato drives off.

When the vato gets home, he tells his relatives about the morra. He then tells them he’s fallen so in love with her that he’s going to ask her to marry him.

“What’s her name?” they ask.

“Eeee! I forgot to ask,” he says.

“You’re just güiliado,” they tell him.

“Chansa, but it feels de aquellas,” he says.

Right after the holidays, he races to the morra’s house.

An old man comes out.

“Quehubole. Can I help you?” he asks.

“Pos I come to pick up a young woman I dropped off before the holidays. She said she wanted a ride back,” the vato said.

The man looked shocked.

“That young woman was my daughter. She died in an accident a year ago. I guess she never stopped trying to get home. That explains why the dogs ran out barking,” the man said, his voice cracking.

“Thanks for bringing her home,” he said after a long pause.

The vato drove off slowly and never sped up. He looked for the morra all along the way, but he never saw her again.

Oscar Rodriguez is the creator and host of Caló.