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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Dead Bored Lorde

Suddenly awake one recent morning, I was panicked because my dad had asked me to transport a young shark to a different continent via commercial air travel. I was terrified by the impossibility of this task, standing there in the wide terminal with a shark tank, water splashing onto the tile. But then I was so amused by the absurd challenge that I boldly requested the assistance of the pop star Lorde, who happened to be passing by. I thought she’d appreciate this strange task, and, sure enough, she was down to help.

After some care-free intercontinental adventures, song-filled road trips in a mini car with a too-big shark tank, we ended up back in my hometown, a place I had been telling her was totally swell. But when we got there, there was nothing to do, and it was not at all interesting or quaint. I didn’t want to be there either. I had let her down and ended all the fun. I felt responsible for her dead-bored eyes and how she smashed her glum cheek into the flat of her fist as we endured the gray-walled diner.

The quick decode of the shark worry might be the feeling that some advice I’ve received on a present matter is nearly impossible to follow through on. The dream tells me that maybe I should reach out for help amid the absurdity and just carry on. The feelings in my hometown were about disappointment in myself, and worrying that I have nothing to offer others in relationships. But I do, so it's OK. Gosh, can I just go a little easier on myself already?

Oscar and Sally

Step-Run-Be