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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Morning Papers

I have one non-negotiable routine – the morning paper. Ever since I lived on my own, I have subscribed to at least two newspapers. I have been comforted by the sound of the early morning slap of the newspaper landing on my front door step. Now every morning I venture outside while it is still dark to pick up the papers in my driveway. If it ever rains, I can count on one being soaked to its paper bones despite it’s plastic covering. When I miss a delivery, I am antsy, perturbed that my day has not started well, especially if it’s on a Saturday when I expect one of the Wall Street Journal’s special magazines. I grew up with an evening paper. My blind grandfather owned a newspaper stand in Boro Hall, Brooklyn at 26 Court Street. My father brought home the latest edition every night. The Sunday New York Times was my father’s coveted possession. He kept it in his lap during breakfast and doled out the sections we wanted to read judiciously, I never broke from my morning paper routine even when I had a new born. My son would entertain himself in his crib with a mobile so I could read of the news of the world while I sipped my coffee. A part of me likes the delay of information that a newspaper brings. The word journalism implies a thoughtfulness to me that is probably not true at all. I know I could abandon my print subscriptions and read three newspapers on line. Many mornings when I scramble in the driveway in the dark, I imagine a day in the not too distant future when it will be my last day of home delivery. I gird myself for this inevitability. I like the tactile nature of holding paper in my hand, also preferring the page turn of a book to the swipe of a Kindle. I love the Sunday New York Times where for some reason the style section is printed on a whiter, sturdier paper giving those pages a distinctive quality. There is also the pride of having your name in the paper rather than the evanescence of appearing in an online version. My mother would always cut out and mail me newspaper articles that she thought would pique my interest. I dread the day when paper ceases to be. Will I have to hold my ipad with breakfast? I realize lots of people do this already but not me. I relish the squabbles over section between my husband and I. There is a ponderous quality about reading a newspaper that you can’t find on a glassy screen. I have never been a fan of routines as they connote a rigidity I prefer not to have in my life. However reading the morning paper is a practice I will not deviate from. I wish I could be more rigorous about yoga and mediation!


Let's Call Her Abby