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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Up and Away

I like to think of our early days as our courting days, though that has a sweet quaint ring to it that is far from the memories I hold.

My husband worked in music touring when we first began to keep company. It was entirely a foreign land to me. Late nights running into late mornings, loud noises and people, lots of alcohol and a cast of characters that could easily have been up on the movie screen about the Rock & Roll fast life, but there they were, right in front of my face.

My frame of reference was a quiet one. I spent my high school years doing homework and watching TV. Didn’t date. I was a late bloomer physically and socially. Still waiting on some of that. I wasn’t much of a joiner but I did somewhat reluctantly sign up for the Art Club because I was told I needed some kind of interest outside of classes and I liked art. Anyway, there were very few people in it and it didn’t look like much of a commitment, so why not?

College was a step out of the shelter, but I still managed to keep to myself a lot. And, of course, there was still homework to occupy me. Over the years, I eventually made a few cautious forays into adult society.

He invited me along with him on tour - Alice Cooper‘s Welcome to My Nightmare tour. They traveled in a private plane and stayed in hotels all over the U.S and Canada. I was expecting to be swept away with the glamor of the trip, but that was not to be. I felt more like an observer from an anthropological expedition. I was not one of them by a long shot. They were a different tribe altogether.

Each day, we would go to the airport and get on the plane they had chartered to fly to the next city on the tour. There would be boxes of donuts and cases of Budweiser. I timidly asked if that was breakfast. Yes! But if I liked, I could have a shot of Jack Daniels too! I think I got by mostly by remaining somewhat quiet. Which passed for enigmatic. I’d take it. It worked in college.

The crew was rowdy and profane. They spoke in many expletives and were crass and rude in their discourse with women– who were for the most part, interchangeable by city. They guffawed and swaggered and posed, telling crude and often uncomfortably detailed tales of their conquests. What the hell was I doing there?

On the upside, I traveled free to a number of places with, some of which I had never seen. Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Ontario, Winnipeg, New York, Detroit, Rochester!

It was a brief excursion to a foreign land, no language barrier to confuse me, and happily, my certain travel companion was far more civilized than the other natives.

Finding My Voice

Let The Dead Bury Their Dead