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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Cuz I'm a Girl

“No, I won’t cuz I’m a girl,” is how I protested Dad’s claim that eating cornbread would put hair on my chest when I was three. 


“Please sign up for the rock climbing trip,” Troy, my friend and a summer camp counselor begged. “If we don’t have at least one girl, the guys get really awful.” 


My high school guys friends told me over and over, “You’re not a girl, you’re JJ’s sister.” 


Watching Dazed and Confused in college, I recognized myself in the younger guy, the baseball star who was just entering high school, the one who got to hang out with the older guys and make out with the girl a year older than him. My hair was cut the same. I pushed it back in the same way. Like him, I folded my lip with my fingers while figuring something out. And there was something else about him that was me, something I still can’t name. “I am that guy,” I told my friends, but nobody took me seriously. 


“She must really love you.” What everyone says to my husband because we are building our house by hand, because we moved into it before it had walls, because it has been four years and we still don’t have running water. No one has ever told me that my husband must really love me. 

All things, all at once

I enjoy being a girl