Solitude by the Sea

by William Anderes

Poem


This Road I Am On

by David Marchant

Poem


The Nurses and Staff of My VA Hospital

by Jeffrey Saarela

Poem


Voices in the Sky

by Paul Nyerick

Array


Medication Blues

by Lynn Norton

Poem


The Promise

by Nila Bartley

Poem


A 1984 Exception

By Katherine Iwatiw, Army

Writing Type: Prose

By Katherine Iwatiw


I
was a fresh-faced American soldier with a pocketful of Deutsche Marks out for a night in Nuremburg, Germany. When the city center’s bar and dance hall announced ‘last call,’ the trains and buses had shut down. I hadn’t kept enough marks for a taxi back to my post, but I had danced with a cute American soldier who mentioned a hotel down the street for U.S. military personnel.


Outside the closed bar and dance hall, I spotted my friend.


“Hello, soldier,” I said. “Walk with me to the government hotel.”


He held my hand as we drifted down the empty cobblestoned street. He joked; I laughed, and there we stood in front of the hotel. Flood lamps illuminated the U.S. and West German flags mounted above the hotel’s first floor. The facade looked pre-World War II and war-spared with no visible bullet holes.


My friend held open the large wooden door inlaid with antique glass while I sashayed through, allowing myself a Mae West moment.


He asked for a room from the clerk, a middle-aged German man who spoke impeccable English. After my friend handed over his ID card, I asked for a room. The clerk pointed to a sign in German and English: “Keine Frauen erlaubt. No women allowed.”


Holding up my green American military ID card, I said, “I am not a woman. I am an American soldier.”


The man turned the signboard around, “Keine Ausnahmen. No Exceptions.”


Looking around the lobby, I spotted a couch in a far corner.


“I’m going to lie down on the couch over there. I don’t give a f..k what you boys decide to do.”


It was a two-cushion couch about five feet long, enough for all of me. I wrapped my black Army trench coat around me and allowed my body to sink into a respectful coexistence with every lump, bump and bug living in the couch. I closed my eyes and focused on a mechanical hum coming from a distant room. I listened until I heard nothing more.  


“Wake up. The clerk wants to see your ID.”


I pushed myself to a seated position and coordinated my eye-blinking and breathing patterns until I was awake.  


“Hurry or he’ll change his mind.”


I stood up and adjusted my clothes. I pulled my card from my pants pocket and hastened to the counter.


“Thank you, Fräulein,” he said as I handed my card to him, “Please sign here.”


With squinting eyes, he inspected both sides of my card and then made copies front and back using a noisy 1970s copier.


My friend and I rented one room with two twin beds. I intercepted the key as it was being handed over.


"I'll take this," I announced.


Walking away, I allowed myself a smile. No exceptions some other night. 

 

 

 

 

The Gates of Nothingness

by Ben Hawkins

Poem


Metamorphosis of the Mind

by Shon Pernice

Prose


Solitude by the Sea

by William Anderes

Poem


The Turret Guard

by Jack Tompkins

Sketch


A 1984 Exception

by Katherine Iwatiw

Prose


Jamie and Roxy

by Richard Wangard

Prose