Postcard proseIssue 07 | November 2009

Spring Break in Split, 1988

by Mike Herndon

The highlight of our days comes late in the afternoon, when we spread our dinars out on the bed and count them. Three thousand, four thousand, five thousand. We live hand to bar to mouth in Munich, but here we are rich.

Give us two tickets as far south as we can go, we’d said at the train station. We expected to find beaches, like in the brochures, but there are only rocks and cement. We expected to bed the girls who walk down the boulevard outside the pension every morning, their legs tanned by the Adriatic sun, but they don’t understand a word we say. We expected to bar-hop for a week straight but all the taverns are packed with young men standing around tall tables, elbow-to-elbow, with Tito looking down from every wall.

So we sit by the harbor with a two-dollar bottle of vodka, we eat three-dollar bowls of pasta in darkened cafes, and we count our money.

Down the shoreline a resort hotel rises off the water like an oasis, calling us from its bed of white stones. The cab ride is worth three meals and we spend our fortune in the final night, dropping shots of rum and tequila in a club like those back in Schwabing. The only girls are a team of Russian soccer players who don’t speak English or German or anything else we can fake.

Bar orders are universal, but pickup lines require some measure of fluency.

In the morning, we trade the last of our money for French bread and Nutella as we leave to catch the train. When we get back to Germany we will be poor again.

About the author

Mike Herndon has frequented, and been occasionally kicked out of many of the finest taverns and beer halls of Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, and, so he’s told, Mallorca. Now living in Mobile, Alabama, he has resolved to explore more of his own country and to be kicked out of fewer taverns. His fiction has been published in Aura, among other venues.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok