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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Me, Men, Mental.

I haven't always been honest. I chose some of them because I was lonely. I broke up with a couple because I thought I was grown and sexy or unattractive - how does that even make sense? And, others I chose because they were beneath me or was it because I felt superior to them? It's really just semantics.

It wasn't fair. To any of us. It stemmed from my own insecurities. My inexperience with men. My desire to be loved and give love. To be fucked and made love to. My desire to feel wanted.

I am a horrible woman. I admit it. I think back to the one I left. I drove to his house, lit a candle, said good-bye and drove off in my 1970 yellow VW Bug. Damn, was I dramatic. He was a good man, even then in his early 20s.

I think about the one I dismissed, being non-chalant in my desire to, "just be friends because I really don't want a relationship." Knowing good and well I did. I later saw him at a club, chasing some light-skinned girl around. A pang struck my heart and I left with my head high and my feet draggin'.

There was the one who followed me and my mother around Old Town Pasadena. He caught up to us while we were eating and told me I was beautiful. He asked to give me his number, I took it and called. He was a grown-ass man and it scared me. I left for Mexico and never called him again. I was comfortable with boys.

I spent time with a few foreigners. One who I did like, yet he was a playboy. Just wanted sex and talked a good game. He lived in Brentwood and I thought he'd be a good provider for me and my child, yet he liked to play. Now, that he is in his 60s, with a bad hip, he wanted to be serious - or so he says. I'm not interested.

I had a child with one. Love surfaced after a brief spell, and me spending three months in Mexico. I came back pregnant (no, I did not get pregnant in Mexico. I found out I was pregnant there, I was impregnated in Echo Park) and afraid of raising a child alone, I made sure we began a relationship. We weren't right for each other and the only good thing out of our union was our daughter.

I dated here and there. I had lovers. Yet, as I contemplated my love life, or the lack of one, and I envisioned the relationship I desired. I had to finally confess that I only dated men who were attracted to me. I never dated the men I was attracted to.

This scared me! Realizing your own dysfunction is healing yet scary as fuck! What in the hell had I been doing to myself? To my life? How'd I train myself to be so insecure that I settled in every relationship I have ever had?

The truth ain't easy, but is the only way to move forward and make conscious changes. If one is brave. If one really wants a new life. I do. And, I am most certainly brave.

The Truck and The Vow

If Only...