mira a los ojos

by bruce yale
reprinted from short shorts – january 2006

“Mira a los ojos.”


“You gotta look in the eyes, man.  Look in the eyes.”

“I know what it means, Martín.  I’ve taken enough Spanish to at least know that.  But what the hell are you talking about?”

It was the first day of Psych, Freshman year at Pac.  Martín and I were coming out of the building along with the other hundred students.  Martín had suddenly started to babble to me.  That’s how it started.  Martín was babbling.  Martín was always babbling. (more…)

Winter Light


You must remember this.

A kiss is so much more than a kiss, everything and nothing all at once, time slipping into your soul and through your hands.  A kiss is a hope, a possibility, a step, a dream, a gift, a reach, a death, everything and nothing.  A kiss is just a kiss or so the song would have us believe.

You must remember this. (more…)

Night Falls Fast

I hold on.

We all hold on in some way or another, grasping at things just beyond our reach, trying to keep everything close when we know in the end that Yeats was right, that things fall apart, the centre can not hold.  But we still hold on.  Because there is nothing better that we have been taught and we all do what we have learned.  And this is what I have learned. (more…)

What Comes Naturally


Words are not necessary.  They seldom are.  A noise is enough, a sound, a riff, the strumming of a young Irishman’s hand across the strings of his guitar.  I know the riff, millions have come to know this sound and not just the millions who own the album.  It is a song and the song is called “Where the Streets Have No Name”, a desert song of mythical images that speaks of pain and rain and far off places where love turns to rust and it is the calling card for what Rolling Stone declared the single best album of the 80’s.

One.  That is what the track is.  Fifty is the number of minutes left before the album will be finished.  Three is the number of rooms between mine and Paul’s and one hundred would be the number of miles you would have to be away from this campus before you would be able to escape it at the volume which he has the stereo turned to.  It is more than an opus for the band, it is also the signal for Paul to let loose, to relax, to let himself fall into another world where no problems can reach him.  Most especially me. (more…)

What Private Griefs…

is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
b springsteen


She slides up on the hood of the car, stretching her long tan legs, letting eyes settle in upon her.  I have seen her like this before, remember her sliding the straps of her bikini across her shoulders and letting the straps and then the entire top fall loose upon the dirt before running and diving into the water.  She knows that she is beautiful, drop dead gorgeous, god awful sexy, whatever term you might wish to choose.  Her long dark red hair is pulled behind her in a ponytail and she is dressed to the max as the little summer sex kitten with a black tank top and fairly short khaki shorts.  She might be the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes upon.  True to the role I am expected to play, I keep my eyes upon the car.

“This is yours?” Bruce asks.  He stands and stares in amazement as I slowly make my way around the car.  It’s a 1996 Honda Prelude VTEC which has only just come out.  It’s a gorgeous deep red sports car and it matches her perfectly. (more…)

Summer Dusk

a romance

Dear Diary,

So, another year of school is over and done.  And it’s time to say goodbye.  Goodbye.

I don’t want to say goodbye to Jessie.  It just gets me started thinking about next year when Paul and Sharon are gonna graduate.  Graduate.  Which means after that, the rest of us graduate and that’s it, we’ll have had this short time where we’re all together and then we’ll all have nothing.  It’s bad enough floating down I-5 to Coronado to start another summer.  I don’t want to think about saying goodbye to everyone, don’t want to think about what happens, when we all have to go away and live different lives.

It was hard to watch last night.  It may have been the most romantic thing I have seen coupled with the saddest moment I have ever witnessed all at the same time.  Jess was headed out the door, then she turned and ran back into Bruce’s arms and then they were kissing, so passionately, so desperately, and then she was out the door and the look in his eyes as he watched her go just made my heart break. (more…)

Our Own Private World


They come crashing into the room and the door slamming open slams shut our debate on the definition of Classic Rock.  Jim and I look up as they fall inside, almost stumbling over each other.

“Do you guys want to go skinny dipping?”

My first thought is that I have lost my mind, my hearing or something else that may not be as important.  I turn to look at Jim and see the look of total unbelievability, that same look he first gave me when I explained to him about the cemetery and why I go there.  Jim’s look confirms that I haven’t lost anything but I’m not sure about the three of them. (more…)