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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Circus Wallpaper

My childhood bedroom was a room I shared with my younger sister. It had been my nursery and still looked like a nursery for many years. When my parents set it up for me, they chose a gender neutral scheme, as was pretty standard. There was wallpaper my mom precisely pieced. It had square tiles filled with animals, circus animals. I remember blues and greens and oranges and yellows. There were elephants and giraffes. When I came home from the hospital there was a Seahawks pennant hanging over my Snoopy crib. It seems as though someone was wanting a boy. Or it seems as though someone was wanting a football fan.

I can remember putting up a poster of a blond boy from a teen mag, and feeling insecure about it. And then taking it down. The nursery paper was busy enough.

The carpet was a blue, shallow shag. The ceiling was white popcorn with sparse bits of silver glitter. The light fixture was a squarish, glass dish fixture mounted over two bulbs and probably holding at leaset two dead flies.

When my sister and I shared the room, we had our twin beds against the left wall (hers) and the far wall (mine). The window was a little high so I had to grow up for a while to see outside of it. We had a toy box that was filled with toys and sporting goods, and then later with shoes from ShopKo. The sliding closet doors were removed at some point for better access. I can see my sister’s tiny clothes up on the little hangers on the upper closet bar. It was good when book shelves were installed in the closet, probably the work of my grandpa who visited and helped my mom with house projects.

What was in the room was not exactly a choice but just what our room was. The dressers, nightstand, clothes, toys and books. It was often cluttered and sometimes would get put into a very temporary order.

I enjoyed reading in my room. I can remember the heat of my reading light, mounted to my headboard. I sometimes got too close to the metal shade. I loved reading to my sister before bed, asking her to say her colors and numbers when I pointed inside of a book.

Alone Again

The Room with One Wall