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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

And Your Little Dog, Too

Dream: I'm in Europe with my dog and I have to cross the border to get home. The border is a narrow concrete wall over a chasm with a metal fence above it. I have to hang on to the fence with one hand and hold my dog with the other as I balance on the 1-foot-wide wall. This, I realize after a few steps, won't work.

On the other side of the fence is a gas station. I'm told I can pass through the gas station to go home instead of walking on the wall, but I have to get permission from the President's office.

I head down toward the office; it's just across the street. In the basement I'm surprised to find Trump himself sitting in a small room with woodwork like a ship and antique furniture. There are clerks at a desk just outside of it. I assume one of them will help me, but they point to him when I explain why I'm there.

I walk in and explain my dilemma. He quickly and kindly hands me a piece of paper with his signature. I'm surprised at how easy it is and how nice he seems. His blue and white striped shirt resembles a sailor. He is wearing a white hat. I compliment him on it. He smiles.

I start to leave the building and I'm told that first I have to go back and talk to the people who boil the water—the clerks. When I go back, I sit in the waiting room while they prepare my paper. Trump comes out of his office, concerned. I want to start a conversation with him. I know we are on opposite sides politically, but I want to try.

We start with small talk: how's his wife? He tells me she is working w/children and I say this is good. In my own mind I'm trying to convince myself she genuinely wants to help. I pay her some sort of compliment. He pulls out $6 and hands it to me. He says it's for safe travels.

I'm wonder whether to take it, and as I hesitate, he leans down to kiss me. It's as awkward as a moment can be: a confused mess of genuine concern, hesitation—he knows he shouldn't—and gross lecherousness. I'm sad and disappointed, and then he starts to drool prolifically—a liter of drool.
Then some unidentifiable, inchoate material comes out of his mouth, and then a piece of plastic.

As he backs away, I pick up the plastic. It's a broken R2-D2.

I show it to him, and he walks away in embarrassment.

1st impression of the meaning of this dream: We haven't fully evolved from animals and animalistic instincts as we are turning into robots. Humans are a volatile mix of wounded, violent animals and broken machines.

Dependence on oil—needed to make the machines work—creates the chasm between the haves and the have-nots. That’s what the gas station represents. It's the greatest divide in the world as it impacts wealth, distribution of resources, the environment, and the climate.

White privilege combined with complicity (I compliment him in his white hat) keeps the machinery of hegemony working. I’m a part of it. I accept his signature, feel confusion rather than reject his money, and register disappointment but not anger at his inappropriate advance.

The scene with the clerks felt like "The Trial" with its strange, mysterious bureaucracy. The clerks boil water. Trump is dressed as a captain in an office that looks like it is on a boat, and he drools. This is the part that confuses me: what does the water represent?

I'm Dorothy appealing to the Wizard (dog in hand), Leia chained to Jabba (unfortunately I'm missing her courage) and Luke facing Darth Vader as he is unmasked and the worm of a man underneath is revealed.

Where Is It?

So Clear