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Canijo v. arranque


The vato was canijo. He hadn’t gotten into a fight since elementary school, his first and last real fight. That he quickly put the school yard bully in a choke hold meant he didn’t have to prove himself in that way ever again. Everybody knew it, but most importantly, he knew it. Simón.

One day he saw his teenage cousin b eing accosted by a man who had taken the liberty of putting his arm around her waist. The vato saw it was Quique who was making the borlo, the most arranque vato in Southside. He didn’t like the scene.

The morra wasn’t capeando, but Quique wasn’t backing off. The vato didn’t like it ni madres. The prima didn’t seem to know how to handle the situation. Not even hesitating, the vato stepped in.

“Prima, get away from this mamón sura?” the vato said.

“I need to go home,” she said.

“Pos ponle,” the vato said, looking up at the taller, heavier Quique.

Quique let the girl go and stepped up to the vato.

The vato didn’t respond, only eyed him coldly. He had already decided how it was gonna go. But as the vato looked deeper into his eyes, he saw Quique glance around him.

“Órale, his ganga’s here,” the vato thought, keeping his eyes locked on Quique.

“Pssssh. Dale gas. Show everybody here you can beat me by yourself, ese,” the vato said coldly.

“Quique’s eyes widened as he drew back his right hand.

The vato beat him to the punch, followed up, and immediately had him retreating.

Anticipating the ganga would step in, the vato flashed his filero. This froze them in place but also gave Quique an opening to escape. But before he got out of reach, the vato injected him in the hip with just enough pain to remind Quique of the moment, nothing serious just a little piquete (prick).

Quique retreated to his ganga and inspected the mark.

“Eeee! I’m gonna get you!” he swore.

“Pos now,” the vato said, not even acknowledging Quique’s ganga.

After a long moment staring down the vato, who stood his ground, Quique and his ganga walked away.

The vato didn’t take his eyes off them until they were gone. Thus, began a long stare down war in the Southside.

Oscar Rodriguez is the creator and host of Caló.