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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Do You Know Me?

"Can I give you a hug." I plead. My body gripped with fear anxiously waiting for his response. His head lowered and eyes peer into the tan carpet searching for an answer. He hesitates but with a deep sigh he walks slowly toward me with his head still down. He glances up for a moment and froze in momentum not clearly recognizing who I was. His fist ball up in protection. I back up uncertain of his potential actions. I finally see his eyes. They are empty and dark, filled with rage, and confusion.

"What happened, what did I do?" I asked perplexed.

He retreated immediately to exit and slammed his hand on the bedroom door.

"You are always pushing it!" he yelled.

"Pushing what?" I asked.

He grunted in anger agitated by my response and question.

"You know what you do"

"You always want what you want." he scorned.

"What did I do?" my mind raced to find an answer.

His eyes tell me his story, and I stop talking. He needs me to slow down. We have been married for 18 years but in this moment and with his narrative I am a stranger. I do not know who I am to him right now. He is threatened and I am the enemy. I could feel his vulnerability and fear consume his being and diminish all light from his eyes. I am brokenhearted with this returned dialogue. He storms out the bedroom and shortly after I hear the garage door slam. I pray he seeks help, and I have asked him to, this is not who he is, unfortunately I am having a conversation with mental illness.

It's So Much More Than Unfair

Slowing Down