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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Ringer Tee

The early 80’s were essentially still the Seventies, and my childhood bedroom was no exception: chocolate on tan palate, deep brown accent corkboard with creamy walls for contrast. It was the ringer tee of kid’s bedrooms. My mom had hired a talented high schooler to paint my first name in large slanted letters on my closet door, which I vainly, openly adored and pointed out before anything else to any visitor…As though they couldn’t read this giant word for themselves. In my mind’s eye now, this font looked like the title card for my favorite tv show, Knight Rider. [Shout out to David Hasselhoff, my first crush. Shout out to being a scabby, knobby kneed tomboy who loved all that classically “boy” stuff like rad cars and all ball sports in the first place.] The carpet was a rich—yep, brown—shag, with a somehow extra shaggy shag. Kid style, I liked to worm my fingers into it and watch the skin on my hands almost disappear from view when I’d claw my nails down deeper, which I did just about every time I’d be down there playing Playmobil, board games, or bookwormin’. My teenage brother and toddler sister were respectively too old and too young to play with, so my room itself was a kind of standing playmate. I can’t remember ever feeling bored or lonely in there solo. Maybe because with my brown skin—dark brown in the perennial summer of San Diego where we grew up—with my tan hand burrowed into that darker brown carpet, I fit the color scheme, too.

The Room with One Wall

The cold and the warm of it