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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Olive Oil

The nose-ring was key, essential, but cost me little. A beer and few minutes of talking convinced Yancy to press his piecing stud through my nostril in the midst of some party. The Doc Martin’s cost me though, $119, all my Christmas money and some I had saved. I bought a size too large because I couldn’t wait for the store to order another pair and for another chance to catch the hour-long drive into town. That cost me twisted ankles, sore feet. But I was certain shoes said it all. And Docs said punk rock and legitimatized my thrift store clothes as fashionably grunge. The knit shirt cost only 79 cents from the Alabama Thrift Store though it was brand new. Striped mustard yellow, brown and white, it fit well, made me look even skinnier than I was, causing my friends to call me Olive Oil. Once I tore a hole in it just under my left rib, I wished I bought more of them. I kept wearing it anyway and so often it appeared as if I had a closet full. For pants, I stole worn Levi’s from Traci, my friend from typing class. Peter gave me a newsboy cap: mustard yellow with a brown fake leather brim. This was my go-to outfit, my college uniform, how I’d appear as Olive Oil the entire week of finals.

Nothing could be finer

Grandma/Ma/Me