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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

All in the Same Boat

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. So, there you are. Jack’s buddy was Jill and they were having fun until the unfortunate incident. From an early age, as a boy, I’ve always thought girls are fun. You get older and discover they are actually from another planet. But that’s okay, as long as you don’t fret about it. My ideas about gender are less developed than my ideas about women and that’s because I think very little about members of my sex other than that they can be extraordinary assholes. That’s the rub, but therein also lies an insight into why.

Our paternalistic and masculine societies have created a kind of perverted male-female world where women must fight for what could be called natural rights. It’s absurd they are in that position but there they are. One must be dedicated to equality and to examine one’s behavior in accordance with the concept of equality. One must also understand respect. A complication for men is their libido and that takes greater management care, so to speak.

The women in my life who had the greatest influence on me are surely my mother, my daughter, and my ex-wife. My ex-wife from whom I’ve been divorced for 28 years might seem an odd choice. I only get together with her about 4 times a year usually with the kids and around a holiday, but we enjoy each other’s company and I have enormous respect for her—plus she laughs out loud at my jokes. All the women in my life, probably because I was very close to them, have provided me a true insight into the female mind. Here’s the surprise: they aren’t from another planet; they have all the problems and anxieties as we men. We’re all in the same boat and we all must pull on those oars together. We just need to remember to intersperse the men and the women, because of unequal strength and proclivities, on the seats so with each stroke we go in a straight line and not in circles. In other words, each human must be given every opportunity—every opportunity—to reach their full potential.

Growing up Greek

That Figures