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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

So Clear

It's so clear out. It's sharp, crisp; there's a snap...the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder is in the shock. It is mother fucking October. It's just after 9:00 pm and I'm walking the dog down by the high school track, in between the track and soccer fields. They are lit in that surreal way, like a Lars Van Trier film. There are about 20 young men--some look adolescent, some look older--playing soccer. About half wear fluorescent yellow vests, which are even more fluorescent under the lights, and the other half wear blue, gray, and white. They aren't talking much as they play and the air--I just can't get over it; it's so clear. The moon is full. I could reach right up and touch it.

It's all so beautiful. It's exquisite almost to the point of pain because I want to make sure that I remember it. I want to remember what "normal" is. Young men playing soccer on a cold and clear October night. Fascism is here and we know it, but we can't feel it yet. We can still walk the dog, play soccer, run on the track and love the night air, and for a few minutes not worry or wonder about loss.

But loss is coming, and I've known it since November 8th. The air is bracing.We're bracing for what is to come. Even the adolescents suspect it.

And Your Little Dog, Too

Flaring Up and Blowing Over