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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Gap!

I wore a black halter top from the Gap nearly every day of the spring leading up to sixth grade graduation. “I know just the thing!” I thought before Jared’s pool party. “I know just the thing!” I thought heading over to Gabby’s house to play The Sims. “I know just the thing!” I thought on Tuesdays.

That spring I had good intentions of branching out, and yet each time I tried, I was groping through the laundry basket one last time. The halter fell just right at the waist band of my khaki shorts and had a built-in-bra that introduced me to the concept of freedom. I paired this one-of-a-kind piece with a wet bun double-folded through a scrunchie, usually heather grey or “baby blue” (Gabby’s favorite color).

The closest I have come to loving a piece of clothing since then was an off-the-shoulder black top I wore nearly every day of the spring I studied abroad in college. No built-in-bra there, just a nude strapless that you could see through the shirt in just the right bar lighting. Thanks, O’Neill’s! I was branching out.



A Fine Young Woman of My Race