birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

My Space

The one I remember most and was in the longest was in Lee County Georgia. Second room on the right, down the hallway. It was messy but it was my mess. I had a path between my bed, dresser, and door. When I was younger, I had a twin canopy bed that was against the wall by the door. It was part of a set of furniture my grandfather bought me. Whitewash color, lamp that matched was a lamp / night light combination. When I was 13, my parents bought me a new bedroom suit and that’s the one I remember most. It was in the far corner opposite the door. The dresser to the right of the door (where my twin used to be). All along the walls were posters of the rock bands I loved. Def Leppard, Van Halen. Pretty sure I had a Quiet Riot poster too.

I felt “at home” in there. It was my space. It was my mess. My mom would ask me, “How can you find anything in here?!” I’d tell her, “Tell me something you want me to find.” She’d say an item and I’d go pull it from the “mess”. It was my mess and I knew where (most) things were. I lost my high school class ring. That’s really the only thing I remember actually losing in there.

I wanted to paint the closet black, make it sort of a cave to go and hide. When The Monkees came on reruns on MTV, I wanted to paint the room a rainbow eminating from the ceiling fan.

For the most part, I chose what was in there. My parents chose the bedroom furniture but I chose the layout and I chose the posters to put up. Whenever my mom and I had a fight, she would clean my room. That was her apology. Her way of trying to make amends. It backfired when I was 17, the day she found a letter I’d written my boyfriend a rather explicit letter. We ended up in counseling at that point and, as awful as that boyfriend was and that time period was, my mother and I were closer than we’d ever been once we got through it. I’m 46 and still have that furniture. I’d like to get rid of it but my husband doesn’t like to spend money unless absolutely necessary. Even if the furniture is (extremely) dated. I’d rather have my canopy bed back. In that one, I felt like a princess. Mostly because it reminds me of the beds you see in movies with princesses and whatnot. I still want one of those style beds – where you can close off the curtains and be well within your own little space.

The Stams

318 Woods Ave