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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


I met my friend Shannon during my junior year of college. Back then, my fashion aesthetic was “railroad-worker-on-Sesame-Street”—I was really into over-sized overalls and reclaiming my childhood as kitsch. Pretty typical art school stuff. We had the infamous Larri Pittman as our studio professor. The four-hour class took place in the afternoon so I sauntered into the first day of class with a belly full of cafeteria sushi, hidden nicely by said over-sized overalls and saw Shannon sitting at a table, still working on her lunch.

She looked rather demure with her soft, blonde hair parted on one side and wearing long denim skirt and white ankle boots. I was struck by how ladylike and feminine she was. No one has ever looked at me and said this, but I suddenly felt really butch as I approached her. Ours was a classic cute-meet in that we noticed each other right away and had a sparkling conversation that was also totally banal.

“Hey, I had sushi for lunch too.”
“Oh, really? What kind of sushi did you have?”
“Cool. I’m having cucumber rolls.”

Ok, maybe the conversation wasn’t sparkling at all. But considering that this was art school and everyone was trying out all sorts of affectations, Shannon was really easy to talk to. We found each other to be one of the few “normal,” relatable people. This was ironic because we were both the eccentric, quirky ones in our respective families and groups of friends.

Wanna Come?