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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


The manager, the popcorn salesgirl, and the ticket taker were in the basement stockroom smoking pot. I had closed the ticket sales booth and was manning the concession stand.

It was the summer before my senior year in high school and I had the perfect life teaching swimming lessons and working as a lifeguard during the day with evening job selling movie tickets, which meant I had a free pass to every movie theater in Wichita. (The stoner theater managers took care of each other's staffs.)

It was the summer of "Shampoo" starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. The film was a huge hit for our theater, with lines around the block for more than a month. Standing behind the glass counter filled with stale popcorn night after night, I couldn't hear every word of dialogue through the heavy red velvet curtains separating me from the theater. But I always knew the moment Goldie Hawn crawled under the table to give Beatty a blow job. The crowd when wild!

I still smell stale popcorn when I watch "Shampoo," which happens. Occasionally. When I want to remember. Summer.



File clerk